Through the use of statistics, personal anecdotes, and historical/cultural examples David Murrow exposes a problem that is growing within the American church – and is even a larger problem internationally. This problem is what Murrow refers to as the “gender gap.” Though the intention may not be over, he believes that churches are continuing to perpetuate this cycle through the use of their facilities and time: children’s church, youth group, worship services, small groups, and volunteer opportunities. Murrow believes that in order for the church to fulfill it’s role, then it must do as Jesus did, which was to “go get some men.”
David Murrow does a great job of using outside resources to make a point. He raises an intriguing and possibly controversial topic, and he doesn’t just use his own legs to stand on. Many surveys are cited to provide information support for his premises. He uses everything from examples of highly intentional current church leaders like Francis Chan, Mark Driscoll, and Bill Hyblels, to statistics taken from the US Census. Connecting those dots together would seem a difficult task, but he does it with ease.
I do not consider myself to be fully convinced by the arguments of Murrow, but I do think the topic is a necessary talking point. If – as Murrow so adeptly points out – men are leaving the church because they do not feel the church is targeting them, but rather women, then that is an issue the church should address. Some of the ways that Murrow suggests – such as keeping the services short or stopping and starting on time – I cannot get fully behind. But the core of his argument is not stuck on such small trifles. Rather, I believe his point to be that a pastor, church, or group of elders needs to be conscious of how to best engage and meet the needs of its congregation. We need to be cautious not only to make sure that we’re getting the seats filled and providing options to serve, but also continually question our methods to make sure that we’re reaching out and meeting needs – both within the church and without.
Overall, I thought it was a really interesting book. He obviously geared the book towards men, so there is no shortage of sports analogies and examples. Also, he takes his own advice and keeps the chapters short. I don’t leave the book feeling fully convinced of his arguments – there seem to be far too many generalities for anyone to really be able to get behind all of it -, but I do believe he has done well to bring an important issue to the table for discussion. So from whatever perspective your life has brought you to, I would say to give it a read and talk about it. All discussion are good discussions.
For the Lawyers: ( BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy. I am under no obligation to give a positive review. And the picture on the front has a lady wearing a mu-mu. For no other reason than that, you should get it.)