1. It’s good for your church.
“Research is clear: the bigger your man shortage, the more likely your church is in decline,” says Murrow. “The denominations with the largest gender gaps are also those that are losing the most members.
For example, mainline Protestant churches have huge gender gaps, and they are losing tens of thousands of members each year. Meanwhile, non-denominational megachurches are growing fastest, and they are the most likely to attract men.”
Hartford Seminary regularly conducts the Faith Communities Today survey, a national survey of over 14,000 local churches, synagogues, parishes, temples. and mosques. The 2005 survey results included an analysis of the impact of a gender gap on church growth.
Researchers reported that “a higher proportion of women in the congregation is associated with decline rather than growth.
As was the case for younger adults, the congregation that is able to attract larger proportions of men, who also tend to be less religiously active, is the exceptional congregation—and is more likely to grow.”
Among churches where women represented 60 percent or more of attendees, only 21 percent reported that they were growing. In contrast, among churches where men represented 60 percent or more of attendees, 59 percent reported growth.
The goal, of course, is not male domination of a church.
According to Murrow and others, attracting more men does not result in your church becoming less attractive to women. In fact, the converse is true.
“Jesus showed us how to grow a healthy church: focus on men first,” says Murrow. “Christ loved women and children, but he spent most of his time and energy developing a handful of men. He knew a truth we’ve forgotten: if you transform men, you transform the family, the community, and the society. Draw a man to church, and you often get the family in the bargain.”
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