The bible is quite explicit in its teaching on the importance of attending church. There are few who can escape the strong exhortation of the writer of the Hebrews when he writes “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together (or the assembling of yourselves -NASB) as is the habit of some but encouraging one another… (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV) We are to encourage one another and promote in each other as Christians to love and good works. How we do this is by not neglecting to meet together or to assembly together in Christian fellowship. It’s quite simple really; how can a Christian encourage another Christian without fellowshipping with them? The very nature of the church is a community of God’s people hence the person who neglects meeting with other Christians to exhort and be exhorted has by definition exactly the type of people the writer was warning against. He neglects the church! The writer is saying “don’t imitate those who don’t meet together and abandon your fellow Christians but keep meeting together to encourage each other”.
The reality is however that I meet people on a regular basis who have no desire to attend a church and this evening is dawned on me that the majority of those people are men. I have had discussions with many of these people as to why they won’t attend and each one has their reasons. I admit that there are some that I can appreciate but the vast majority use excuses based upon pride or an ignorance of the importance of attending church. I’m not stating by this that anyone has an excuse but for some their predicament becomes a little more complicated to say the least.
There is never an easy or full proof answer as to why men don’t attend churches. Andy Webb over at the Aquila Report has written a fantastic article on why men don’t attend church and I feel he has touched upon some relevant points of consideration. His findings are extremely revealing and at the same time should be a tremendous concern for Christians in our day. Webb’s article can be summarized in saying that the church has lost the Godly man. Webb argues that some churches have ignored in the reality of a man’s pursuit of godliness in holy principles and it shows in these men’s lack of desire for the church . Churches are just not teaching the reality of Sanctification! Men enter their new Christian life with high expectation but in most churches they are fed a watered down version of what the Godly man looks like. They need to be taught to be Christian men and this is not being done. Webb writes:
It is this process of sanctification in the life of male Christians that I find to be the missing element in American evangelicalism. Men receive no discipleship, no instruction as to how to grow in grace, no teaching on how to become more like Christ, and so they find themselves making little or no progress, falling prey to the same old sins, and looking very much like the world.
The church has followed the world and become feminized in many ways diminishing masculinity.
I would like to encourage those who are seeking something greater in the pursuit of Godliness. There are still churches out there that do believe that men need to be taught these Godly principles and they are willing to teach them to you. It is our responsibility to find a place that will exhort us to love and good works and we must continue our pursuit to finding this church. One final point that should be considered is the idea of men mentoring men. The church that brings back the idea of mentorship will surely find an overwhelming amount of men and women who will flock their church. Churches need to return to this biblical principle in order to build a generation of strong Christians into the next generation.