Why are there more women than men in church? One possible answer.

It is feminization of the church“, some experts claim. “The churches are run nowadays in a way that soothes female ears more than male ears, that caters more to women’s needs than men’s.”

That sounds sensible at first glance, but is it the whole truth? And it matters. God’s heart is for both males and females to love Him and live for Him.

According to this “feminization” theory, men don’t like singing love songs to God, flower arrangements in the church, emotional preaching, etc. And little more than the feminized men stay in church, as those are the only ones not too upset with things like this.

Can this be the whole truth? King Solomon, for example, wrote and sung love songs, some of which are collected in the Bible as “Song of Songs”. His father, David, sang of God’s love and wrote Psalms. Neither of the two strikes me as effeminate. And today’s male, love-song-singing stars? Well, by what the tabloids write about some of them, it wouldn’t seem pansies are the only men who sing love songs.

It also seem that the more emotional churches tend to have more people- both male and female – than the less emotional ones. I may not be crazy about emotionalism, but emotional congregations grow in membership.

And do anyone seriously believe that flower arrangements in church keep men away?

Perhaps something else, way more foundational to the male mindset, is a big part of the reason. I suggest this, because if the real cause of the illness is not diagnosed, there is little chance of curing the patient. (Our patient is the church; the symptom is a shortage of men.)

Sex may be the answer.

1. Men are very interested in sex.

2. The church say the sexual act belongs inside marriage.

3: Current laws in many countries (divorce laws, custody laws, domestic violence laws) make it risky for men to get married.

4. There are more loose women than before, who are willing to sleep around without marriage.

When the church asks men to get married, they are asking them to do something very risky, with many potential drawbacks. And the primary immediate benefit men previously had by marrying, could be obtained easily these days without a wedding ring.

I humbly suggest the Christian view on sexual morality may be a bigger stumbling block for men than ever before, something they prefer not to heed. And this makes them believe that God’s laws are not relevant to the real world.

Is this the church’s fault? Probably not. The man’s fault? Largely.  Society’s fault? Partly. Now, if this is true, what should the church do get more men? Change men’s thinking? Change society? How?


PS Update: This link  gives a more balanced view of church feminization than  most proponents do.


About Retha Faurie

Attempting to question everything, reject the bad and hold fast to the good.
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8 Responses to Why are there more women than men in church? One possible answer.

  1. Michael Adams says:

    One clue that you may be right is that the drop in men’s attendance began not so long after the changes in marriage and family laws, which have increased the risks of marriage for men.

    There’s another, though, which is not related. More educated men used to be the ones who’d fill the pews. They were more accustomed to thinking in abstractions, which include theology, sin, morality, an afterlife. Now, education is largely conducted by antireligious people, so a goodly number of men just assume that it’s all nonsense. Women will sometimes put their intellects in neutral on Sunday morning, for the emotional fulfillment that they receive in church, so there are more of them there, than men.

    I’d also say that, in many churches, the clergy can often be mistaken for eunuchs, and this is off-putting for men. Note that in what you have described as the more emotional churches, the minister may be quite virile in affect, which draws women, but does not put men off.

    We need seminaries with football teams.

  2. Roxeanne de Luca says:

    ROFL to “seminaries with football teams”. Probably true.

    The idea that flowers in churches turn “men” off is laughable. Real men don’t care (and actually spend so much of their lives kicking butt and taking names that they are happy to take a break from that for an hour every week), just like they don’t get hung up on “Wives, submit to your husbands”, because they know that both women and men submit to real authority and don’t submit to imposters.

    Moving right along, you are dead-on correct with the Church and sexuality. In the long run, men benefit from the Church’s teachings (and form marrying a woman who is in the marriage to build a family, not to get a meal ticket), but by the time they’ve figured that out, they are older and have gotten far out of the habit of attending church.

    I think that the best way to get more men into church is to recruit women to do it. Aside from the fact that they can drag their husbands and sons in, women who live chastely can change the culture. In our rush to be non-judgmental, we’ve allowed slutty women to run amok, ruin men, and then claim that we are the ones with hang-ups. Let’s try getting back to the idea that women who are marriage material simply do not behave that way, and if you want to get married, never have sex after you are married, and then get divorced and taken to the cleaners, marry a woman who doesn’t follow the Christian (or Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu, or whatever) guidelines.

  3. Retha says:

    Thank you for the comments. Perhaps the feminization of the church is a result, not a cause, of men staying away? The church is probably catering to the members they have – which are disproportionally female.

  4. Retha says:

    If you are looking for answers to “Why are there fewer men than women in church”, I have three posts on the topic, giving three different theories. The other 2 are:


  5. John Taylor says:

    The thing about sex belong in marriage is from the bible, not from the church. It is God’s command. We cannot change God’s commandments just to make the church more accommodating.

    Either there is a God or there is not. If there is, we need to obey Him.

  6. Men are less delusional than women.
    Men are more realistic than women.
    Women pray to receive material things while men work for them.
    Traditionally men face the reality of working for what they want more than women.
    Men have better things to do with their time
    Women are traditionally supported by men

    • Retha says:

      Erm, that is your opinion.

      I know a few delusions men are more likely to have, but people with more power in society tend to believe their view is the objectively realistic one.

      “Women are traditionally supported by men.”
      Women traditionally support men with their labours, whether it is farm work or raising the man’s children. Money is not the only thing which contribute to support families. In fact, women traditionally work more hours, if all paid and unpaid work is combined, and thus do more to support. A society which is set up to give only men money for their labours, and then call the money havers and not the time spenders “supporters”, is sexist.

      • Simeon Alexander says:

        Men are looking forward to relevance. Most men in our society today do not see the value of going to church because it is not addressing their issues. The most important issues for men are their work, family, marriage, sexuality, and finances, these are rarely addressed in church. The real truth is that men are now leaving the church. Why is it a problem that there are few men in church, that’s an opinionated statement, The problem could be that too many men are in church. Women are also leaving the church. Instead of focusing on more men going to church, emphasis needs to be placed on getting more women in. If it is that the more men or people in church makes the world a better place then I’m all for it.

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