Tuesday, June 15, 2004

doing postmodernity

Getting men to read fiction is the holy grail of publishing. Can men be weaned off newspapers and books about the exploits of elite military forces? This was the headline in a local newspaper on Saturday. Men read less than women. Men read way less fiction than women. For years, publishers have tried to get more men reading.

Penguin’s Good Booking campaign, launched in Britian this month, offered a 1000 pound to any man caught reading a Penguin title.

Time and again, I have been asked to explain postmodernity. I reach for a book I have read, only to be greeted with “Oh, I don’t read.” Many websites on postmodern mission include a list of books.

So how to engage missionally with a non-reading male?
– get them to browse a mall
– watch The Matrix
– learn DJing
– move 7 tonne of sand into and out of a church
– offer them a 1000 pounds
Any other ideas?

PS – I have expanded my thoughts into a piece called blokes and books here.

Posted by steve at 05:34 PM


  1. Ok, just out of curiousity….
    What would you define as your understanding of DJing??? (as you apply it in the worship sense, as well as generally)
    Coach a team with them?

    Comment by Larraine — June 15, 2004 @ 6:30 pm

  2. Rugby!!!! watching, playing or coaching!!!
    (Especially when the All Blacks wipe the World Champions out)

    Comment by Janet — June 15, 2004 @ 7:07 pm

  3. Sport: Playing it, watching it. For major games we go to someone’s house, use the church’s tv projector and watch the game projected onto a wall – 12x8ft projection looks great. And great outreach! Or you can watch the matrix on it.

    Then there’s bbq’s, working together on some church building painting/decoration project, paintball day, go-kart day…hmmm beginning to run out of ideas (but I am typing this early in the morning).

    Comment by Jonathan — June 15, 2004 @ 7:09 pm

  4. i know it’s probably been done, but the men in our midst seem to be responding to ancient modern practices. i’ve been to contemplative retreats where there are more men than women, and i am suprised.

    Comment by bobbie — June 16, 2004 @ 9:04 am

  5. Larraine, DJing is a concept I explore in my book – due out Feb 05 – with emergentYS. Can you wait until then?

    Comment by steve — June 16, 2004 @ 10:13 am

  6. Another link to teaching. English teachers in NZ have been putting lots of effort into making reading attractive to boys. This usually involves choosing ‘boy friendly’, high interest reads, more non-fiction and books with males as the main characters.

    It seems to me that many of the boys I teach are into action and sitting still holding paper seems like an extreme waste of time to them. Playstation involves sitting still holding a box for a long time but the difference is that they are already provided with the pictures. You can’t read just by moving your eyes across the page, you have to complete some complex, cognitive processes. Boys are not dumb but they do have priorities which sometimes fly in the face of our western expectations in education.

    Comment by marion — June 17, 2004 @ 12:44 pm

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