Suburban Ministry–The Challenges of Reaching Men

The church has a manhood problem. Or most of the statistics say so. Whether or not the statistics are true, the Christian publishing industry has certainly churned out many books speaking to the issue (For example, see Why Men Hate Going to Church). I think I can say that the anecdotal evidence at LBC may point in the direction that men are harder to engage with. I wouldn’t say necessarily that women are more sensitive to spiritual things. All people are sinners and no one has the capacity to pursue Christ outside of the Holy Spirit’s work in their life.

I think a few obstacles stand in the few of really reaching men in the suburbs of New Jersey. These are things I have found:

1. Busyness: Men are busy. Extremely busy. They are building families and careers. They have projects at work, projects at home. They handle the finances, plan vacations, and pursue hobbies. They are busy. The predominant view of church, then, is that it is one more responsibility to juggle.

2. Schedule: Tied into the busyness is the issue of schedule. Many of the men in the church commute to New York City, at least an hour a day if not more. So most men will leave the house before 7am and return after 7pm! How do you reach those men who have such limited time during the week? How do you reach men who have such limited time with their wives and families? Complicating things is the fact that since their weekly workload is so heavy many other projects get pushed to the weekends. There are also family events. How do you call busy men to sacrifice for the church on a weekend, when they rarely have time for themselves?

These are just some of the questions that I have been grappling with in how to reach men in and through our local congregation.

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