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RightNation.US: Why Do More Women Go to Church Than Men? - RightNation.US

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It really irritates The Blogfather and his #1 minion that Churches treat mothers as superior beings and fathers as hapless dolts...

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I will never, ever, attend a church that makes a habit of putting women on a pedestal and celebrating female traits while repeatedly demonizing men and castigating male traits. That is the hallmark of a church which has abandoned the worship of God the Father in favor of elevating current societal norms to sacred writ.


While his point is well taken, there's a simpler yet more disturbing reason why this is so: Churches are usually run by and for women...

From The Wichita Eagle:

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Barna Research Group has found that, while more than 90 percent of American men believe in God, only a third of them on a given Sunday attend a church (Christianity being the majority religion in America). And the percentage of male churchgoers continues to decline.

In a recent United Methodist News story, Robin Russell noted that more than 70 percent of United Methodist churches and 55 percent of Baptist churches have at least 12 percent more women than men involved.


I've always assumed that men are more uncivilized and would rather indulge their appetites for tobacco, alchohol and gentlemens' clubs than sit in sweet smelling church building. In part, I think I was right about the tobacco and alchohol part. Men don't want some gaggle of ladies telling them not to drink and smoke especially when there's no clear Biblical prohibition of such things. As for gentlemens' clubs, we didn't have any where I grew up. Even if we did, I can't sympathize with a man who would eschew fellowship with Christian brothers for want of such nonsense.

This description, however, makes a great deal of sense:

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He refers to David Murrow's book, "Why Men Hate Going to Church" (Nelson, $13.99), for some reasons men think that church is for women: flowers, banners, saccharine hymns and mostly female Sunday school teachers.

"If church was a place where men could be real and not religious, you'd see a lot more of them," Murrow contends.


Looking back, I had nothing but female Sunday School teachers until I was in my teens. Although I loved and respected these wonderful, Godly women, I can see how they weren't exactly equipped to teach me about faith the way men could. Fortunately, I had my dad at home to fill that role. Many of my classmates had no such spiritual male influence.

But here's the deal: Sure the Church has allowed itself to become feminized. Gee, I wonder why that is. If men would be men, this would not have happened. Men let women take over many churches; I've seen it many, many times. And I can't tell you how many times I've heard it form the pulpit that men need to step it up.

That's where structure and methodology comes in. Churches, especially the older denominations, tend to be programmatic and eracentric. Growing up in Southern Baptist churches, one would get the impression that Christianity began in the early 1960s. Church bulletins handed out at the door have the same stale photos of church steeples or flowers and the Sunday school literature seems to have artwork by the same guy who decorates cheap motel rooms. Who would this stuff appeal to but women and old men? Banners displaying the current "theme" or program to get the church excited or united behind a purpose, to me, smacks of women trying to channel the natural male tendency to solve problems in an acceptable manner.

I've seen churches do it right, and they invariably have very strong male leadership. You're not going to find an old matron scolding a deacon at one of these churches because the "30 Days of Puropse" banner is the wrong color or because the children actually used the newly carpeted multi-purpose room. When you go to a mens' group, you get a binder of material that more resembles a technical manual than an Avon catalogue. Yes, there are flowers...outside where they belong. Inside, the pastor speaks from behind a giant sword, and the decor is tasteful and masculine. Deer horns hang above the door...okay, I'm making that part up now, but you get the picture.

Men need to step up while appreciating all the work women have been doing over the years. At the same time, women need to let men be men, Godly men. If they want them in church, let go of those frivilous things that make men uncomfortable. The Word of God is going to supply plenty of discomfort as it is. Get them in there, get them comfortable and tell them how bad they are. That's good church.

My Mind is Clean
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30 Comments On This Entry

One of the many many reasons that I do not go to church.
To damned many people claiming that they can "do God's work", as if any mortal could.
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As people get older they tend to turn to churches more than they did when they were younger. More men than women die at a young age so that automatically increases the probability that a church will have a higher proportion of women. From your example though it sounds like the Methodist church seems to have a worse problem than most since you state that 15% of them have less men than Baptist churches do.
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USNJIMRET, on Jun 21 2010, 12:43 PM, said:

One of the many many reasons that I do not go to church.
To damned many people claiming that they can "do God's work", as if any mortal could.

Well, He did call us to do His work, though. Feed His sheep, care for orphans and widows and so on. The reason we go to chruch is because Jesus told us not to neglect fellowship with one another. I suppose you can make the case that you don't need a church to do that, but I'd be pretty skeptical of how much Christian fellowship goes on just hanging out.
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katnapper, on Jun 21 2010, 12:59 PM, said:

As people get older they tend to turn to churches more than they did when they were younger. More men than women die at a young age so that automatically increases the probability that a church will have a higher proportion of women. From your example though it sounds like the Methodist church seems to have a worse problem than most since you state that 15% of them have less men than Baptist churches do.

That demographic trend certainly amplifies the overall trend. But in most mainline denominations, there's a glaring lack of men 18-35. Churches hire marketing firms to try to appeal to that group. All they need to do is tell the old ladies to shut up. :lol:
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If the UMC hadn't become a bunch of anti-war "pacifists" dippie hippie types back in the late sixties/early seventies and abandoned many of the tradional services of the older Methodists and Evangelical Brethren (no more trine immersion, just sprinkle with a bottle of Evian or Arrowhead) it wouldn't have lost so many male memebers through emasculation. My parents and grandparents were EUB/UMC and I was brought up Methodist, but left the church in my tweens. Haven't been to a service since my niece's wedding and that was a non-denominational evangelical church.
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I haven't thought it through enough to take a stab at why more women go to church than men, but this I know: Men and women are different and are designed to fulfill different roles. Long about the mid-60's all of the "movements" started successfully blending and confusing the two roles. Men became women. Think whatever you will on that. Women became men. Likewise on that one. I'm blessed to be involved in a church where we do have manly men meetings - every Sunday and Wednesday, as well as some Saturdays. We have manly fun, which is not distasteful.

I suppose it's no wonder that some/many men don't want to go to church and be emasculated when they can stay home and do that with the women who want them to be perfect, Godly/Biblical specimens - but at the same time, they themselves don't want to be perfect, Godly/Biblical specimens because that would be enslaving, old-fashioned, provincial, or whatever derogatory adjective (which really isn't derogatory).

One of the major points of conversation this past Saturday morning was 'the difference between the in-dwelling and being filled with the Spirit.' No time now, but it was pretty cool. Come to think of it, I was wearing my Ol' Miss golf shirt and they ragged on me.
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A few years ago I would have agreed with you that more women go to church than men. (Oddly enough, my anecdotal evidence was based on our Baptist church and our Methodist friends, just like in the article.) At our old Baptist church, the wives were more likely to attend than the husbands. Even Mr. Stain would have the urge to miss the occasional service, but my Catholic upbringing caused me to guilt him into coming. (A good Catholic does NOT miss Sunday Mass. EVER.) At the time we were good friends with a super-active-in-church Methodist lady whose husband NEVER went to church with her----and, from what she said, it seemed that his aversion to church was shared by a good many husbands in their congregation. Even the First Christian church I attended in high school was pretty female-dominated.

However, my Catholic parish just isn't like that. The priests are, of course, men. The sisters run our Catholic school, and two women run our religious education program, but I would venture a guess that thirty to forty percent of the CCD teachers are male. Mr. Stain and I teach together, as well as several other couples. Our music dude is, well, a dude. Most married couples we know and see come to church together. I think that part of that may be because the children stay with us during Mass, making Church very much a whole family experience. Plus, we Catholics really do tend to have larger families, and corralling four or more children and forcing them to sit still & behave for an hour pretty much requires that fathers stick around---which means that I'm sure my fertile friends put more pressure on their husbands to attend. Plus, it's a sin to miss Mass without a very good reason, so any Catholic who takes his religion seriously just doesn't. We do have a real problem getting men to join the choir though. :lol:

Anywhoo, while my parish is still somewhat of a more female than male place, we definitely (from what I see) have a far greater percentage of men attending Mass. And, while men are less well-represented throughout the Church ministries, it still feels like we have a lot more guys doing more stuff than the Protestants I've known. Here's my list of reasons that we may have more male participation in my parish:

1) The church is run by the priests. Priests, are, obviously men.

2) Our priests, for the most part from the new, young conservative Catholic wave, have all been guys' guys. Guns, beer, and even the occasional smoke. We've often stayed for hour an hour or more after church chewing the fat with our priests about guns & ammo.

3) I don't personally know any Catholic women that have a problem with drinking. Smoking is a problem for many wives and gentlemens' clubs and gentlemens' clubs for most, but not drinking. :lol: After all, Jesus enjoyed a good glass of wine or two upon many occasions.

4) Like I said above, Mass is a whole family thing. It's a perfect time for fathers to BE fathers, i.e. impose some discipline. The view at our old Baptist church seemed to be that children did not belong in the sanctuary and were incapable of behaving in the sanctuary. At our parish, children are expected to come to Mass and behave. Period. That wouldn't work very well if the dads stayed home.

5) Also mentioned above, it's a sin for a Catholic to miss Mass without a good reason. While I would never say that a greater percentage of Catholics are devout than other Christians, I will say that those of us who are trying to be devout make sure that our butts are in the pews on Sunday. So, while a reasonably religious Protestant guy with a devout wife can attend church only occasionally and still feel that all's right with heaven & the world, a reasonably religious Catholic guy with a devout wife will find that his wife will be nagging him to attend Confession for every missed Mass. And we Catholic women sure can nag.

6) The fact that men are most definitely the ultimate authority means that we avoid some of the clique behavior that I've seen tear friends' churches apart. Honestly, one or two pointed comments from the 'in-crowd' at my old Baptist helped hasten my inevitable departure form that congregation. While we still have some of that stuff going on, I think that having men in charge, having men without WIVES in charge, mitigates it somewhat. There is no female at the top to side with the cliques and give them more power. (Though I'm sure that some priests fall victim to taking sides in that crap, just like some guys in high school.)

7) We have the Knights of Columbus. Unlike a Bible study, the Knights give Catholic guys a chance to bond through DOING things. I think that men like to feel like they're accomplishing things, not just sitting around talking. The Knights cook dinners to raise money for charity, sell Christmas trees and fireworks, buy toys for children in need at Christmas, rehab bikes for the poor in other countries, etc. All of these things give guys a chance to bond while feeling a sense of accomplishment. And the Knights are definitely not in any way run by the wives.

Well, I hope that helps, or something. And I hope that I don't come across as insufferably smug. (Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.) I also fully expect an attack or two about the priest scandals and the Catholic Church's "patriarchal misogyny." Meh.
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Mr. Naron, on Jun 21 2010, 04:03 PM, said:

katnapper, on Jun 21 2010, 12:59 PM, said:

As people get older they tend to turn to churches more than they did when they were younger. More men than women die at a young age so that automatically increases the probability that a church will have a higher proportion of women. From your example though it sounds like the Methodist church seems to have a worse problem than most since you state that 15% of them have less men than Baptist churches do.

That demographic trend certainly amplifies the overall trend. But in most mainline denominations, there's a glaring lack of men 18-35. Churches hire marketing firms to try to appeal to that group. All they need to do is tell the old ladies to shut up. :lol:

18 year olds are too busy trying to pick up women and have sex and are not likely to turn to a church and 35 year olds are too busy working. Now women of that age are going to church looking for a hard working man that is not trying to pick up women.
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KenpoDude, on Jun 21 2010, 01:45 PM, said:

I haven't thought it through enough to take a stab at why more women go to church than men, but this I know: Men and women are different and are designed to fulfill different roles. Long about the mid-60's all of the "movements" started successfully blending and confusing the two roles. Men became women. Think whatever you will on that. Women became men. Likewise on that one. I'm blessed to be involved in a church where we do have manly men meetings - every Sunday and Wednesday, as well as some Saturdays. We have manly fun, which is not distasteful.

I suppose it's no wonder that some/many men don't want to go to church and be emasculated when they can stay home and do that with the women who want them to be perfect, Godly/Biblical specimens - but at the same time, they themselves don't want to be perfect, Godly/Biblical specimens because that would be enslaving, old-fashioned, provincial, or whatever derogatory adjective (which really isn't derogatory).

One of the major points of conversation this past Saturday morning was 'the difference between the in-dwelling and being filled with the Spirit.' No time now, but it was pretty cool. Come to think of it, I was wearing my Ol' Miss golf shirt and they ragged on me.

As well they should have. What were you thinking? :lol:
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One reason must be the fact that another cat's running the show. It can be irritating to see your SO fixing her on the guy at the altar, laughing at the jokes he makes in his homily, or lingering after the service to press his hand and tell him what a wonderful person he is.
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exsailorette, on Jun 21 2010, 01:48 PM, said:

A few years ago I would have agreed with you that more women go to church than men. (Oddly enough, my anecdotal evidence was based on our Baptist church and our Methodist friends, just like in the article.) At our old Baptist church, the wives were more likely to attend than the husbands. Even Mr. Stain would have the urge to miss the occasional service, but my Catholic upbringing caused me to guilt him into coming. (A good Catholic does NOT miss Sunday Mass. EVER.) At the time we were good friends with a super-active-in-church Methodist lady whose husband NEVER went to church with her----and, from what she said, it seemed that his aversion to church was shared by a good many husbands in their congregation. Even the First Christian church I attended in high school was pretty female-dominated.

However, my Catholic parish just isn't like that. The priests are, of course, men. The sisters run our Catholic school, and two women run our religious education program, but I would venture a guess that thirty to forty percent of the CCD teachers are male. Mr. Stain and I teach together, as well as several other couples. Our music dude is, well, a dude. Most married couples we know and see come to church together. I think that part of that may be because the children stay with us during Mass, making Church very much a whole family experience. Plus, we Catholics really do tend to have larger families, and corralling four or more children and forcing them to sit still & behave for an hour pretty much requires that fathers stick around---which means that I'm sure my fertile friends put more pressure on their husbands to attend. Plus, it's a sin to miss Mass without a very good reason, so any Catholic who takes his religion seriously just doesn't. We do have a real problem getting men to join the choir though. :lol:

Anywhoo, while my parish is still somewhat of a more female than male place, we definitely (from what I see) have a far greater percentage of men attending Mass. And, while men are less well-represented throughout the Church ministries, it still feels like we have a lot more guys doing more stuff than the Protestants I've known. Here's my list of reasons that we may have more male participation in my parish:

1) The church is run by the priests. Because they have no wives, I believe that they are more able to stay above the female clique behavior I've seen in my Protestant/fundie experiences.

2) Our priests, for the most part from the new, young conservative Catholic wave, have all been guys' guys. Guns, beer, and even the occasional smoke. We've often stayed for hour an hour or more after church chewing the fat with our priests about guns & ammo.

3) I don't personally know any Catholic women that have a problem with drinking. Smoking is a problem for many wives and gentlemens' clubs and gentlemens' clubs for most, but not drinking. :lol: After all, Jesus enjoyed a good glass of wine or two upon many occasions.

4) Like I said above, Mass is a whole family thing. It's a perfect time for fathers to BE fathers, i.e. impose some discipline. The view at our old Baptist church seemed to be that children did not belong in the sanctuary and were incapable of behaving in the sanctuary. At our parish, children are expected to come to Mass and behave. Period. That wouldn't work very well if the dads stayed home.

5) Also mentioned above, it's a sin for a Catholic to miss Mass without a good reason. While I would never say that a greater percentage of Catholics are devout than other Christians, I will say that those of us who are trying to be devout make sure that our butts are in the pews on Sunday. So, while a reasonably religious Protestant guy with a devout wife can attend church only occasionally and still feel that all's right with heaven & the world, a reasonably religious Catholic guy with a devout wife will find that his wife will be nagging him to attend Confession for every missed Mass. And we Catholic women sure can nag.

6) The fact that men are most definitely the ultimate authority means that we avoid some of the clique behavior that I've seen tear friends' churches apart. Honestly, one or two pointed comments from the 'in-crowd' at my old Baptist helped hasten my inevitable departure form that congregation. While we still have some of that stuff going on, I think that having men in charge, having men without WIVES in charge, mitigates it somewhat. There is no female at the top to side with the cliques and give them more power. (Though I'm sure that some priests fall victim to taking sides in that crap, just like some guys in high school.)

7) We have the Knights of Columbus. Unlike a Bible study, the Knights give Catholic guys a chance to bond through DOING things. I think that men like to feel like they're accomplishing things, not just sitting around talking. The Knights cook dinners to raise money for charity, sell Christmas trees and fireworks, buy toys for children in need at Christmas, rehab bikes for the poor in other countries, etc. All of these things give guys a chance to bond while feeling a sense of accomplishment. And the Knights are definitely not in any way run by the wives.

Well, I hope that helps, or something. And I hope that I don't come across as insufferably smug. (Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.) I also fully expect an attack or two about the priest scandals and the Catholic Church's "patriarchal misogyny." Meh.

First of all, there's no evidence that the wine Jesus drank was any good...

:D

We actually attend a fairly balanced church with lots of manly men. Calvary Chapels tend to be much more male friendly than mainline denominations. In fact, you kind of have to beg to serve in most CCs. At my old Baptist church, you show up once and they want you to teach Sunday School. :lol:
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Mooga, on Jun 21 2010, 02:01 PM, said:

One reason must be the fact that another cat's running the show. It can be irritating to see your SO fixing her on the guy at the altar, laughing at the jokes he makes in his homily, or lingering after the service to press his hand and tell him what a wonderful person he is.

:lol:

So you've been going to one of them churches, eh? See if you can't miss Kool Aid Night if you can help it.
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Mr. Naron, on Jun 21 2010, 05:03 PM, said:

First of all, there's no evidence that the wine Jesus drank was any good...

:lol:

We actually attend a fairly balanced church with lots of manly men. Calvary Chapels tend to be much more male friendly than mainline denominations. In fact, you kind of have to beg to serve in most CCs. At my old Baptist church, you show up once and they want you to teach Sunday School. :lol:


Yo fundie boy, MY Bible says that the stuff that Jesus made at Cana was the gooooood stuff. :lol:
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exsailorette, on Jun 21 2010, 02:10 PM, said:

Mr. Naron, on Jun 21 2010, 05:03 PM, said:

First of all, there's no evidence that the wine Jesus drank was any good...

:lol:

We actually attend a fairly balanced church with lots of manly men. Calvary Chapels tend to be much more male friendly than mainline denominations. In fact, you kind of have to beg to serve in most CCs. At my old Baptist church, you show up once and they want you to teach Sunday School. :lol:


Yo fundie boy, MY Bible says that the stuff that Jesus made at Cana was the gooooood stuff. :lol:

Yeah, but did He drink it?

I swear, you Baby Sprinklers can't wait to turn our Lord into some kind of divine sommelier or something. :D
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I say bring on heavy doses of smoky incense and some bigger chalices and then we've got ourselves a gentlemen's club. uhh. I mean a high Mass. :lol:
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Mr. Naron, on Jun 21 2010, 04:01 PM, said:

USNJIMRET, on Jun 21 2010, 12:43 PM, said:

One of the many many reasons that I do not go to church.
To damned many people claiming that they can "do God's work", as if any mortal could.

Well, He did call us to do His work, though. Feed His sheep, care for orphans and widows and so on. The reason we go to chruch is because Jesus told us not to neglect fellowship with one another. I suppose you can make the case that you don't need a church to do that, but I'd be pretty skeptical of how much Christian fellowship goes on just hanging out.

You got it. Eph 2:10 - 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
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More seriously though, I was hoping that you would address my points. Then I realized that since brevity is the soul of wit, my first post was somewhat witless. :lol: So, I'd like to restate my points and ask if you think that your church, which does attract its fair share of men, is attracting men by somehow avoiding the things I'd mentioned.

1) The men aren't really running anything at too many churches.

2) The men who are populating the seats and leading congregations don't seem like guys' guys.

3) Churches make men uncomfortable when they insist on saying that generally harmless activities like a having a few beers are sinful.

4) Men feel unnecessary when their wives & children can go to church without them and be perfectly happy.

5) There's no punishment, either temporal or eternal, for not going.

6) Church can feel like a henhouse, and the average guy might feel like he's dealing with enough of that kind of drama at home or at work.

7) Most men I know like to DO more than talk & philosophize, and the average church might not be giving men enough opportunities to feel useful.

Any thoughts?
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exsailorette, on Jun 21 2010, 02:48 PM, said:

More seriously though, I was hoping that you would address my points. Then I realized that since brevity is the soul of wit, my first post was somewhat witless. :lol: So, I'd like to restate my points and ask if you think that your church, which does attract its fair share of men, is attracting men by somehow avoiding the things I'd mentioned.

1) The men aren't really running anything at too many churches.

2) The men who are populating the seats and leading congregations don't seem like guys' guys.

3) Churches make men uncomfortable when they insist on saying that generally harmless activities like a having a few beers are sinful.

4) Men feel unnecessary when their wives & children can go to church without them and be perfectly happy.

5) There's no punishment, either temporal or eternal, for not going.

6) Church can feel like a henhouse, and the average guy might feel like he's dealing with enough of that kind of drama at home or at work.

7) Most men I know like to DO more than talk & philosophize, and the average church might not be giving men enough opportunites to feel useful.

Any thoughts?

When i get back from football practice, I'll try to be serious.
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I would gladly go to "man-style" church. I, too, quit going to UMC because it was too old-ladyish and stuffy. And liberal as all get-out. Tithing for that reason is a no-go, too. What church would I give to? I don't like them or their philosophies.I would so love and appreciate a church that has practical lessons and discussions on how to get through your life every day, instead of the latest leftist "unfairness" cause.
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exsailorette, on Jun 21 2010, 02:48 PM, said:

More seriously though, I was hoping that you would address my points. Then I realized that since brevity is the soul of wit, my first post was somewhat witless. :lol: So, I'd like to restate my points and ask if you think that your church, which does attract its fair share of men, is attracting men by somehow avoiding the things I'd mentioned.

1) The men aren't really running anything at too many churches.

All the CCs I've been to are predominantly run by men. All the pastors and associates are men as well as leaders of each ministry.

Quote

2) The men who are populating the seats and leading congregations don't seem like guys' guys.

We have our share of metrosexuals, but it's California. Still, lots of construction guys and cholos.

Quote

3) Churches make men uncomfortable when they insist on saying that generally harmless activities like a having a few beers are sinful.

This is a point of contention I have with CCs. But given how the church developed, i don't hold it against them in the slightest. We cater to people coming out of pretty rough lifestyles, and it's best that you don't condone unhealthy activites. Now, I wholly agree that moderation is healthy, but I don't mind them erring on the side of caution. It's much better than the SB churches where you have an anti-alchohol sermon and Sunday school lesson at least once a year.

Quote

4) Men feel unnecessary when their wives & children can go to church without them and be perfectly happy.

I don't know if we make it a point to nag men into coming, but I do know we have a lot of ex-Catholics, so....:lol:

Quote

5) There's no punishment, either temporal or eternal, for not going.

We're certainly not a "no-consequences" kind of church, but we're also not legalistic in that sense. You will never hear a CC pastor or a SB pastor for tha matter saying it's okay to miss church.

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6) Church can feel like a henhouse, and the average guy might feel like he's dealing with enough of that kind of drama at home or at work.

Not at the CC. It's not tolerated.

Quote

7) Most men I know like to DO more than talk & philosophize, and the average church might not be giving men enough opportunities to feel useful.

We have more than enough opportunites from construction projects in Mexico to mechanic work for single mothers. Once or twice a month, moms can bring their cars to the church parking lot and get their oil changed and basic maintenance taken care of. And then there are the teaching opportunites for those more academically minded.
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