According to a survey of 400 male readers of Sorted magazine, male worshippers in the UK prefer singing “proper macho songs” in church. Nearly 60% of those surveyed indicated that they like to sing in church, but that they like to sing proclamational hymns rather than sentimental-type songs.
This study may shed light on those who try to tailor the musical style of music in the church to a UK culture. It should be noted that this study involved those already involved in church life. I am not sure what the result of a similar US study would reveal. A cursory analysis would seem to indicate that churches should be careful so that male worshipers are not left to feel emasculated in church, but instead are able to fully be the men that God has made them to be. It is worth noting that only 8% of these men found the church to be too feminine.
- 75% go to church to be intellectually and spiritually challenged.
- Males in church react positively to strong motivational preaching and teaching.
- Males want to be taught more about:
- Family Issues
- Money Issues
- Half said they were opposed to dancing in church.
- Most said they were turned off by flowers and embroidery (is embroidery a big thing in UK churches?).
- Most are uncomfortable with hugging.
- Most don’t like sitting in circles discussing their feelings (most women would probably say that this is nothing new).
- Most were uninspired by church discussion groups and it was suggested that discussions in a pub would be preferable.
The writers of Sorted came up with a list of 10 suggested hymns that are male friendly:
- Onward Christian Soldiers
- And Can It Be
- Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer
- All People That On Earth Do Dwell
- Be Thou My Vision
- How Great Thou Art
- Amazing Grace
- Eternal Father, Strong to Save
- Our God Reigns
- Lord And Father Of Mankind Forgive Our Foolish Ways
These hymns are selected by writers for a magazine that has been called the “men’s mag with morals” that caters to footballers (soccer players for US readers) and men such as these.
Had I Been Surveyed
Had I been one of the 400 surveyed by the magazine, I would have responded like this:
- I enjoy singing in church.
- I prefer proclamation and theological songs to sentimental songs.
- I go to church to be spiritually and intellectually challenged.
- I want to be taught more about theology and living as a follower of Jesus in today’s culture.
- I am ambivalent about dancing, flowers and embroidery. The only embroidery I can remember was some doilies under the offering plates in small churches.
- I’m okay with some hugging, but opposed to orchestrated hugging times.
- I don’t enjoy sitting in a circle discussing my feelings or anybody else’s feelings. I enjoy discussing thoughts about truth and how to apply those truths. I enjoy discussing issues of trying to flesh out the Christian life.
- I am okay with discussion groups in either the church or the pub.
This article in Sorted was reported on by Reuters.