LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Men who go to church regularly prefer “proper macho songs” and feel uncomfortable with hugging and sitting in circles discussing their feelings, a survey for Christian men’s magazine “Sorted” has found.
The survey of some 400 UK readers of the magazine, launched as an alternative to racy men’s titles “Nuts” and “Loaded,” found that 75 percent go to church to be intellectually and spiritually challenged.
Male worshippers were also found to react positively to a strong motivating message and wanted to hear more discussion on how family issues and money relate to their lives — their two favorite topics.
A small proportion, eight percent, described church as too feminine. But half objected to dancing and 60 percent said embroidery and flowers turned them off.
Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they enjoyed singing, but were more motivated by “proclamational” hymns than sentimental-type songs.
Men were also uninspired by church discussion groups, with many suggesting that the pub would be a much better place for interacting.
Paint-balling or “having a curry” were also popular alternatives.
“Jesus recruited a bunch of 12 ordinary blokes before he began his ministry proper. They spent three years together doing stuff,” said Sorted’s publisher and managing editor Steve Legg.
“He sat down and ate with them and built relationships,” Legg said, explaining how the church should go about reaching the male congregation.
Sorted, dubbed the “men’s mag with morals” was started a couple of years ago as an alternative to the racier stable of men’s magazines, Legg said.
“We have well-known faces in the magazine who are Christian: (adventurer) Bear Grylls has been in the mag, Tony Blair was on the front of the last one, we’ve got (U2’s) Bono on this one.
“Plenty of the Premiership footballers are believers. I just wanted something a bit more wholesome for guys who are into ‘Nuts’ and ‘Loaded,’” he said.
Sorted has drawn up a suggested top 10 of male-friendly hymns:
Onward Christian Soldiers
And Can It Be
Guide Me O Thy Great Redeemer
All People That On Earth Do Dwell
Be Thou My Vision
How Great Thou Art
Eternal Father, Strong To Save (For Those On Peril On The Sea)
Our God Reigns
Lord And Father Of Mankind Forgive Our Foolish Ways
Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Steve Addison