Church Mouse has a snippet from a survey done by Sorted magazine, on mens attitudes to church. It finds that 2/3 of them feel uncomfortable in church (more than would feel uncomfortable in a lingerie shop: Thongs 2 Songs 1), and the most off putting thing is singing, which again 2/3 feel uncomfortable about.
The findings aren't too surprising, when I think about the response of the average wedding congregation to being asked to sing 'All things Bright and Beautiful'. Again. Most churches seem almost designed to put people off: big dark forbidding doors, no jolly signs outside, seating reminiscent of a Victorian classroom etc. You have to work quite hard to make it feel comfortable.
the trouble is that we know this but we don't do anything about it. I don't think the answer is to scrap singing, but there might be other ways of doing things. Another church in Somerset started up a pub group: short Bible passage and discussion questions on a laminated 'menu' card, pints round a table to talk about it, and prayer requests shared at the end. Speaking of pubs, and making men welcome, Banksyboy is worth a read.
We only have 1 recorded instance of Jesus and the disciples singing, the rest of the time they walk, talk, do things and go fishing. Each to their own. I'd rather visit a lingerie shop than go fishing. Which just goes to show that when it comes to men, you can't generalise. There's also a danger of portraying an ideal 'mans man' image - of which there's a hint in Sorted - which many men may feel they don't measure up to. Just as most women aren't Scarlett Johansson, most men aren't Bear Grylls. And that's ok.
Update: more discussion of this over at Tall Skinny Kiwi.