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I haven't really noticed an imbalance in men and women - it's that there aren't that many children at Mass. But then, we have a number of very active men in our Parish who work very hard making sure there are on-going men-only retreats, breakfasts and events to go to. Our choir is also mostly men.


I belong to a pentecostal church and the proportion look similar.


"Modern" churches seem to drift toward emotional themes, no big surprise that men are behind the 8 ball in that game. The danger of course is that spirituality is not soley an emotional game - the rational and irrational must both be present. The further into emotion you run, the further you get from the truth. I doubt this will be heeded by the people who need to hear it the most. My experience is that young city churches are nothing more than social clubs.

Frank Ritchie

There is a growing conversation about this amongst mainline evangelical/pentecostal/charismatic circles.

I think there are three issues, the music, the lack of challenge and the perception of Christ.

Music has become very emotive and what is often sung now tends to resemble romantic love songs... Jesus isn't my boyfriend and I actually think a lot of females need to check themselves on this feeling as well. Because of this, I don't relate to many songs sung in many churches now.

Often times there is no challenge in what is being presented. So often we're gien a comfortable picture so we'll be attracted to it. I think this works against the instinct of men though. The Christian faith is about sacrifice, self denial, taking up ones cross and letting God pretty much rip us apart and rebuild us according to his will. For me, that has so much more weight and teeth.... I wonder if it is the same for many men. Yet this is not what we hear.

Our picture of Jesus is often a soft focus guy in white linen who just wants to give us a hug. The Jesus of the Bible is a lot more gritty than that. He was soft when he needed to be, fronted up when he needed to and lay his life down in the ultimate sacrifice when humanity needed it. That's something I can follow.... I'm not interested in having a boyfriend.... I'm heterosexual.

The Christianity I live gives me a God to follow, a sacrifice to make, a challenge to take up, a leader to lay my life down for, a cause to champion and a reason for life beyond myself.

Compare the life Jesus called for in Luke 14:25-33 with what is said in most western churches now.

That passage, along with the sermon on the mount challenge the very core of my being and compells me to step up in a way that simply telling me that God loves me never could.

I believe the latter, but we're saying it so often that we're drowned out the other stuff.


maybe as people get older they think more about dying, and going to a church is a response to this. As women live longer there would be more of them in church...

Also a lot of the churches are wimpy, airy fairy or 'feminised' and men want to be men. Interestingly, God Himself seems to be happy for men to stand up and fight for (other people's) justice and safety. Christianity has often emasculated the message Jesus brings.

However I know a lot of strong men who are believers in Jesus who are not in any church. Freelance if you will, but active for their God, none the less.



Well said...


5 years ago the profile of the typical Anglican ordinand in the Auckland Diocese was a lady in her mid-50's. Lovely as they are, they don't quite connect at the right level for young fellas in their 20's. At the time I just shook my head at a church with a death-wish. Come to think of it, I still do.

But its a chicken-or-egg situation. The fact is that the skills churches have required of their parishioners in the last hundred years or so (I saw a good study video on this but can't recall too many details sorry) revolve around the ability to read well, sometimes out loud; the ability to sit still for a 1/2 hour or more homily; good conversational skills; singing. Not a lot of us are too flash at this skill set.

I agree with what our clean-shaven young friend says about the lack of depth in the music. I've read that despite any preaching we hear, most people's theology fails to rise much above the level of the songs we sing. If so we shouldn't be dismayed at the impotence of today's Christians.

Having come to Christ through some pretty supernatural stuff 25 years ago and been soundly saved I have seen the level of praise and worship degenerate to the point where its often simply nauseating. Where's the stuff about the Cross, the Blood, risky living for Jesus? Like the preaching - its turned to mush.

Returning to my Pentecostal roots a couple of years ago for a visit I found peoples prayer needs were at the level of "Please ask the intercessors to pray that our new kitchen doesn't run over budget." People my wife & I knew 20 years ago have stagnated at that place and have not grown one iota in 2 decades.

Two decades ago God was wanting to bring people to grow intellectually in their faith, few recognised this at the time and even fewer tried to do it.

Many churches have controlling and insecure leadership. Any blokes with a few clues are very often perceived as a threat rather than taken under the wing for mentoring.

I disagree with the current method of leadership selection. People put themselves through expensive training in the hope that they will find a position at the end of it. A friend said the other day that nearly all of his fellow degree level students at a top evangelical college not only don't have "ministries" but they don't even attend church anymore because of the pressure of family life. They were sold a pup. What's wrong with living an "ordinary" life as an educated Christian? But I digress...

IMO leaders should be tapping guys (and it needs to mostly be guys, if for no other reason to claw back men into the church) on the shoulder if they think they have the goods. I know this is how the Mennonites do it. People who know you well you ask you the question and are prepared to back you up financially and other ways.

So, we have many brittle leaders who wait around for signs of interest and often bounce guys for reasons other than the right ones.

If you can't get guys to lead, you're not going to get many guys to follow.


I think what Frank said was excellent also.

and USAbikes comments below are 100% true in a lot of churches....
'Many churches have controlling and insecure leadership. Any blokes with a few clues are very often perceived as a threat rather than taken under the wing for mentoring'.

A lot of this has to do with,because the leaders have not entered in to the Kindgom of God that is within, they have stopped the sheep from entering in also.
They have not rightly divided the Word of God, and matured the sheep, which of course brings along all the challenges Frank talks about.
And of course the insecurity and control is necessary to keep the sheep in that position.

I have likened it to small country syndrome, where a lot of doctrine has been
ceased upon, that gives the pastors pwoer and money, so they seem like they have it made, or have made it.
Not realising they have totally missed the mark.

I was given a book called
'Why men hate going to church' by David Murrow.


Frank, KevOB USAbikes

Due to the lack of men in
NZ that are true pastors/leaders, I have had to look elsewhere, and here is one of my mentors, who
is Canadian.

He is mature and speaks of his finally entering into the Kindgom.
He is like the leaders you speak of that we need in NZ.


To explain a little further.

I had this revelation last year, and couldn't find anyone who knew what I was talking about, so I searched
and found Terry Sommerville
who has JUST written this account of the Kindgom in the last few weeks, so his confirmation mentored me in what I had also received while studying the scriptures.


This is a very interesting discussion with some good contributions to disucssion. Some choice quotes from the link:

".. religion is seen as a safe field, a refuge from the challenges of life, and therefore attracts men who are fearful of making the break with the secure world of childhood dominated by women."

"Men who were interested in religion were less masculine than the average man: 'Interest in religion or art is a mark of definitively greater femininity than lack of interest in these matters.' Men who showed little interest in religion had more masculine scores"

"The Catholic [seminarians] score at a point far less masculine than any other male group of their age; in their early twenties they are more feminine than the general male population at middle life. The Protestant theological students in their middle twenties are, however, more feminine than they and exceed in femininity the sixty year-old man of equal education. The adult ministerial group is barely more masculine than the Protestant theological students and less so than the student priests. They exceed in femininity the college educated man of the seventh decade."

Seems like there are lots of reasons for the greater proportion of women involved in churches. Is it in part a "throwback" to when married women were not so often in permanent workforce. A church, with no barriers to entry, served as an important social outlook - a place to do things for others?

The idea that women tend to be more emotional, intutitive and spritual may have merit. Not the traditional male role within the family.

It helps me to understand why I became sceptical at early age.

John Boy

"...risky living for Jesus?"

Exactly. This cropped up at home group last night and I mentioned vaccination of daughters without parental consent or knowledge and the banning of big TV's. After all the debate about it I said "But what are you actually going to do?" As it turned out nothing, they are relying on a few public figures to argue a case for choice.

I know that 50,000 people at Helen's door would see her back off (bullies always do) but the Church today just doesn't seem to have the spirit to front up like that. One bloke wouldn't join with the Catholics to protest about something that is common ground, like abortion, because they're ... well, Catholics.

Jesus was celibate but that didn't mean he had no balls.


If it´s not risky living for Jesus were not doing it right.

Church music has become appalling. The youth have damaged ears so sound levels are intolerable. The words have left faith behind for rock concert performance. Where´s the anointing? Thereś a hymn "Of the Fatherś love begotten ere the worldś began to be".the words of which date to c. 400 and the music to c.1000 which is still being sung not for love of tradition but for the love of God. That is the earliest one I know but there are recent others which bring the presence of God like a magnet. Most of the Hill Song ones do not. My view is if they don´t do that they are not fit for the purpose. The ¨Christian¨ music industry is not, it is driven by market forces not the Spirit of God.
We need discerning shepherds to guard the flock, the time of apostasy is upon us.

Keep up the faith in the name of Jesus.


Hey Frank Ritchie - shut the **** up. Let us here some of your music then, come on, where is it? Love to see how you incorporate philosophy or whatever bullshit into your songs. While you're at it why don't you go write an e-mail to all the worship leaders that write these so-called "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs and tell them that their faith isn't deep enough, that they don't know what they're writing about, that their Christian journey is just some sappy romance with God?

But since I don't have any of your lyrics to critique, I'll just go by your post. You sound like a **** who thinks he's the ****, 100% Pharisee material. Wow, you're a strong Christian? Well done MATE. I'm sure all those other guys at the Pentecostal Churches are just there to **** **** every Sunday and don't live out Christianity the way you do. Hugs are for pussies right? These guys who support one another are just fags looking for boyfriends aye?

****, I'd sooner trust them with my life than a masochistic **** like you.

Same for all those other dickheads who think it's the fad to hop on to the "Jesus is my boyfriend songs are for wimpy Christians" bandwagon. Don't bloody stereotype them if the only example you have to go by is your own kids' experience at those Churches because of them being raised stupid by you, if you ever went to some of those Churches you'd see that the backgrounds of those people are some of the most fucked up in society, with drug dealing and broken families, unlike your crappy conservative Churches where the ordinary congregation is made up of upper-class Pharisees who like to show off how smart their ideas of how Churches should be run on blogs.


hey Kevin, your post sucked just as much dick too. where are your amazingly Godly songs?


Wow Stan, you've got issues.
(If that's who you are)...

I always found it even keeled growing up and it still seems even numbers now.


Talk about dodging the question.

Come on Christians, explain to us really - why do women dominate the numbers.

And do men and women really feel differently about music? For some reason I notice that most men can't sing and don't bother and Church services. But why would awful music turn away men but not women. By the way, I think a good musical life can be a draw card.

Ryan Sproull

The men sang at the church I grew up in. It wasn't about sounding good, it was about worshipping together.


"Do not answer a fool according to his folly or you will become like him."

Frank Ritchie

Stan, I considered not replying to your comment as I'm not sure how to take the filth you presented and if I’m honest, I found it downright offensive.

After reading through it a few times and getting myself past my initial reaction, I realised you were making a few valid points. So if you will be gracious enough to allow me, I will try to answer some of what you have said.

I admit, I’m not a song writer and couldn’t craft a song if my life depended on it, but I have sung plenty of songs that I haven’t connected to. My point was that I personally do not connect with many of the songs written nowadays because they feel like they have a romantic leaning to them and I’m not comfortable connecting with God, or viewing Jesus on a romantic level, and I’m sure that many other guys aren’t as well.

I don’t think that the music is aweful, I just don’t connect with the lyrics. Does that mean I think the song writers lack depth in their writing (I’m not talking about their faith)? Sometimes, yes. I think the bigger issue is simply a lack of balance. There is certainly a place in church for the softer emotive side of the faith, but it needs to be balanced. I’m not saying it’s just for wimps, I’m saying there needs to be a balance if we want to see more men in church.

There are some other assumptions you have made about me and what I think is masculine. Are hugs just for wimps? Not at all. Are guys who support each other just looking for boyfriends? I have no idea how you got that out of my comment, I don’t think a guys life can operate properly without support from other men.

Pentecostal Churches? My faith was planted and went through its initial growth in a Pentecostal Church, some of the men I look up to the most are Pentecostal/charismatic in their faith.
I’m a licensed Minister in a NZ denomination, so this question of why men are under represented in Western Churches is a concern to me. There has to be a reason why men are in church less and all I did was offer an answer from my own point of view. It’s simply about balance and I think the scales are tipped too far towards the feminine…. both need to be there. My perspective doesn’t mean that I think the men currently in churches are less masculine, heck, I’m one of them.

I would be interested to hear your perspective on why there are less men in most churches. I’m sure I could learn from your thoughts.

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