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Just Men speaker builds 'framework for the masculine journey'

Just Men speaker builds 'framework for the masculine journey'

Just Men speaker builds 'framework for the masculine journey'

11 August 2017

David Morrow speaking at the recent Just Men Conference in Sydney. Photo: Darren Kingston

By Anne Halliday

For the past 12 years, David Murrow has had one goal – to help churches create an environment that will engage and connect men to the message of Jesus.

Speaking at last weekend’s NSW Just Men Conference at Collaroy, David shared how the loss of men and boys from the church in America gave rise to his organisation Church for Men and his best-selling book Why Men Hate Going to Church.

“My mission is to teach churches to create environments where men will stay long enough to hear the gospel,” says David, who will speak again this weekend at the Queensland Just Men conference. “Men don’t come to church because they’ve been to church – and they didn’t like it.”

“Churches unwittingly create an environment within which your typical woman is more comfortable than a typical man,” he explains. “And The Salvation Army has the same gender gap as any other denomination. That was very apparent to me last weekend. Many men came up to me during the weekend and shared how this was their experience in their corps.”

David says that churches where there is a more balanced number of men and women are places were strong leadership is modelled, where the décor is gender-neutral and the teaching doesn’t shy away from tackling tough topics.

“Men will tend to gravitate towards strong leadership, whether that is from a man or a woman. They want teaching that is hard-hitting, somewhat dangerous and demanding and addresses them as men, not forcing them into a feminine mould that is nurturing and soft. The interesting thing is women also respond well to this kind of teaching.”

He also says that contemporary worship is not always helpful for men in church. “Our worship music often appeals to women more, much of the modern lyrics express our love for Jesus in romantic terms. It’s not necessarily a place of comfort for men.

“It is not about creating a culture for men or leaving women behind and it’s not about creating an artificially macho church. Men will sniff that out right away. But a man walking into a space he will immediately detect very quickly if this is a space for a man or a woman. I have seen time and again that churches sensitive to these issues are more likely to attract men.”

David says that a more masculine church is not one that is in opposition to the paradoxical call of the gospel to vulnerability, sacrifice and servanthood.

“What I teach men is a template for masculinity modelled on the life of Jesus. Jesus is first tender in the early part of the gospel, then he gets tough, then gets tender again. In all the great men of scripture there is this pattern of submission, strength and sacrifice. I’m giving them a framework for the masculine journey. Men want something to lay their lives down for.”

The Queensland Just Men conference will be held at Alexandra Headland this weekend.

Victoria will host a men’s retreat on 18-20 August at Phillip Island Adventure Resort. Speakers include Brendan Nottle, Corps Officer at Melbourne’s 614, Christopher Trodden from Mission Resources, and Camberwell Corps youth worker Kyle Schroeder.

More information and bookings for the Victorian Men's Retreat can be made HERE. 

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