If you are not from Sydney (or even Australia) you may be wondering why we are calling the new church Manly Life Church…. Well contrary to popular opinion it is not because we are trying to be a particularly masculine church with beer swilling, dwarf tossing and weight lifting. No, it is because we are located near Manly Beach in Sydney.
It has got me thinking though on men and church. You read lots of things these days about why blokes don’t like church. Apparently some men find the songs too feminine, don’t like having to talk about their feelings and find it weird to say things like “I love Jesus” or “I can feel his love”… Maybe some of this is fair enough? But this all seems a bit strange when clearly in his own lifetime and throughout history, men have been drawn to follow Jesus in life changing, adventurous, passionate ways.
To be honest I like a lot of the worship in the church today (including the old hymns done well). I can talk about my love for Jesus and his great grace in my life. I am even getting a bit better at talking about my feelings (getting married does that to you). Despite this some thoughts on ways to ensure men like church.
- Paint the faith in its true colours of being about adventure (mission), courage, mate-ship, sacrifice, rescue, healing. Jesus didn’t just come to forgive your sins, he also invites us to join his mission in liberating and freeing the captives. Luke 4:18-21 is Jesus mission statement. Imagine if men got on board that venture!
- Don’t force blokes to be like women. Men can be discipled through doing activities together. I suspect men prefer an activity like helping a person in need to sitting around discussing things. Jesus got his disciples to go out and do the stuff, not just talk about it (I am sure this applies for women also).
- In worship, I am leaning towards the sounds of bands like Mumford and Sons. A bit more raw, not too high pitched and with meaty lyrics. Does anyone know churches putting out songs like these?
- Challenge the men to step up to the crease! A lot of men want to be challenged on the big issues of life like relationships, work, family and money. Give the big challenges of the bible to them straight. Stop looking at porn, stop wasting your money on more stuff, get responsible and man up!
Just a few thoughts. What do you think? Maybe Manly Life Church will be a manly community after all?