Insights about Christian Books for Men
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Sunday, September 30 2007 19:00|
In the September 17, 2007 issue of The Weekly Briefing I asked, “What can you tell me about how Christian books for men are purchased and read?”
No big surprise here…most of the responses came from men who like to read! They tended to be pastors or laymen actively ministering to men in some way.
I was blown away by your insights! So thank you. Of course, these are opinions to help shape research—not the research itself. Nevertheless, here are several concepts that emerged.
The big idea (so far) is that pastors and leaders are the “first readers” of Christian books for men. They hold influence over a second group we might call “relational readers.” “Relational readers” either a) take a recommendation from a respected pastor or leader or spouse on a book that hits a felt need, b) are given a book by a “first reader” or spouse, or c) get in a small group led by a pastor or leader who picks the book.
These “relational readers” are men who often don’t read well and/or don’t like to read. As a result, they don’t read much, can take or leave books in general, and wouldn’t take an interest in reading except as a response to a pastor, leader, or spouse.
As to why many men do not read, there were many wise opinions—here are three:
Several mentioned the difference between buying and reading a book. Yes, these are two separate issues, and I will be addressing them both. As one leader put it, “Men won’t read something they can’t find.”
Why do men read?
Who buys the books and why?
How do men hear about the books they buy?
Where do men get their books?
This is a first take. I’ll say more in the weeks ahead. Suffice it to say this is a huge opportunity to explore.
Reading is so important. One leader said it well in his response: “The men who read the book chapter we study before they come to our small group are growing, and those who don’t read it are stagnant. The stagnant ones just can’t understand why their lives are not changing.” As only Mark Twain could put it, “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”
For the glory of Christ and no other reason....
Pat Morley, Ph.D