• gi

    Also in some churches when women are at a marriageable age and as the years go by. There seems to be no prospect of marriage they may end up marrying an unbeliever or a Christian man who does not go to church.

  • Where do I begin? After reading the perspectives as to, “why women are leaving the church,” I couldn’t agree more. Hurt, frustrated, overworked, overlooked, me, me, me, and I’ve lived to tell it. I’ve been apart of several churches big and small, but the one one thing I can appreciate, is when I spend time with the Lord throughout the week, I am always amazed at how God will use someone whether in the pulpit or at the back door to let me know, “I am with you.” Church is not going to be perfect, and once I (or you) enters the door, well, it just got worse, lol, why because we are not perfect either! It’s a spiritual hospital, and just like at a hospital, everyone thinks they are well until they go in for a physical. Check the condition of your heart, if it’s hard, cold or crushed, then you need help? Jesus told the religious leaders, since you’re so well, Physician, you don’t need me…heal yourself. Remember Jesus came to heal and to save those that were lost, not those who were alive and well. His ministry was for all.

    Maybe you’re not lost, or perhaps you are and don’t know it yet. I was one to think that I knew more then the ones with the “titles,” but if God is calling me (you) to the Ministry then it will be confirmed by the Holy Spirit and the leaders set before you, they will see something in you and say, “Hey Martha, have you considered leading noon-day prayer?” Leading is not a glamorous job, it takes discipline, anointing and a contrite heart. Even Jesus said, “not my will, but yours.” Some say the leaders are all men, I say, we look at the outward appearance, but God is looking at the heart. I’ve seen what goes into leadership (my husband is a Pastor) and like Moses said, “these people are a stiff necked generation.” Now I can carry that with me and treat people harshly or I can get beside him and help minister to the people. Don’t ever criticise the leader God appointed, Mariam made that mistake, and paid for it.

    People’s hearts are harden towards God for so many reasons, a lost jobs, a failed marriages, failing health, a wayward child, no income, a situation that’s out of their control, or maybe they’ve gotten themselves into a little trouble and want God to come to their immediate rescue. Whatever the case maybe, the church family should be there to offer love and support, but if everyone is at home, who will pray, hug, sing, preach them out of their situation. Yes they can pray at home all alone, but what then. Jesus even told the man he healed to go and tell all that had happened. It’s in our genetic makeup to share and care.

    Ladies let’s come back to church with humility, grace and solutions. Maybe that program you wanted to spearhead 2yrs ago was not for that season, maybe God had to mature you, or the leaders. Maybe it’s for such a time as this, God has not forsake the women. When we devote our time to the Lord in prayer, meditation and worship, God will give us a special message to reach that downtrodden mother, that young lady who’s always sick, or that widow who just lost everything. Remember he that wins souls is wise and the one’s I can’t reach my dear sister can.

    We are one body with many members, and the eye cannot say to the foot I have no need of you. Start doing something for your church/community today, your gift will make room for you. Afterall scripture says, whatever you do, in word or deed, do it as unto the Lord. God bless my sisters in Christ!

  • dudamis

    I am a Christian female that grew up in church. I was a part of a Bible memorization club, attended a Christian school (that I loved more than church) so I am well-read on all of the greats…John Wesley, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Charles Finney, etc. and I know about 300 scripture verses. I am a mature Christian who sees today’s church as nothing more than a daycare for Christian babies who still need the milk of the Word because the goal of the leadership is not to mature but to control the sheep. I am not interested in Bible studies that teach me how to have a happy marriage. I have been married for 18 years because I obey Gods Word concerning commitment, not because I go on a retreat with my husband to “deepen our intimacy”. My highest priority is my relationship with God. This heresy that says that everyone needs fellowship is a lie from the pit of hell. Noah’s family built the ark without any other support. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness until God had something for Him to say. John was isolated on the isle of Patmos when he received the Revelation. Jesus had been completely abandoned when he yielded His heart to the crucifixion. It is in times of isolation that we hear God…not in crowds. Perhaps if people would unhook themselves from controlling leaders and learn the Word for themselves, they could sit in His presence themselves as opposed to asking the pastor to get the Word for them. Yes, there is the scripture that speaks of assembling yourselves together. Jesus also said if there are 2 or 3 gathered, there am I in the midst. If I am talking with a Christian friend on the phone, that’s two! When Israel wanted judges, God wanted to be their Judge. When they wanted Moses to go up and obtain Gods message for them, He wanted to speak with them face-to-face. He called them adulterers that had left their Husband…Him…for another. If people do not want to hear God for themselves, but want their pastor to obtain all of Gods messages for them, then are they loving God or are they having an affair on Him…wanting a human to speak with their lips as opposed to God speaking to their heart?

    • gi

      I agree Ddumis you are right.
      Also in some churches when women are at a marriageable age and as the years go by. There seems to be no prospect of marriage they may end up marrying an unbeliever or a Christian man who does not go to church.

  • Paula

    I want to let everyone know that I realize that the first comment I made was very rude and hateful, and completely unnecessary. When I posted it, I was very angry, and I came across this story and posted without thinking any of it through. I am very sorry, and it will not happen again.

    • GUEST20130416

      Paula:

      “Sisters” and “brothers” that are unable to love you through your spontaneous reactions are not really your spiritual family anyway :)

      I am a single Mom and recovering Brethren Church member (Plymouth). I understand every syllable you wrote and it is very reflective of my initial reactions.

      It is apparent that you and I are not the only ones who feel this way and probably we are a missed opportunity: while women tend to give all the time, we also need to be supported.

      This used to be accomplished by having a big family of several generations who lives together. That is no longer the case.

      I for one am missing support in my church (currently Presbyterian).

      Having had to work 2 – 3 jobs, raising a child and living in a State that refuses to enforce child support, I am glad when I can gather strength on a Sunday to not get sick.

      I have yet to come across fellow churchgoers who would volunteer to help me with:

      a) babysitting so that I can get a better education – people unrelated to church offered help there
      b) offering better paid job opportunities
      c) helping to move when I could no longer afford my apartment
      d) helping with car repairs
      e) helping with finding out legal options when my child was abducted

      Let’s understand: my church is very involved in giving across the town and the world and is one of the biggest and wealthiest Presbyterian Churches. Yet, its members prefer to write a check that is tax-deductible and personally just cannot and will not give to Single Moms. We are less than for them and not worth it getting involved in our lives!!!

      From my experience, this is how churches – not Jesus – see us women:

      Nice to look at, worthy of free servitude, ready to get tossed and judged at a moment’s notice.

      I do not have masochistic enough tendencies to continue to deal with this and I do know that MY SAVIOR SEES ME DIFFERENTLY!!
      In order to stay focused on how Jesus sees me, I need to occasionally take a break to keep my faith!

      • gi

        You are so right. I have noticed that about churches. They have suffering people in their midst and know your goimg through a rough patch and tell you they will pray for you. Or how they wanted to assist you but their pastor or husband or wife said no lets give to Africa etc;

  • I just refuse to deal with a group who considers me less than anyone else. If I am told I cannot speak, because I was born with a different urinary tract, I will NOT go back. And if a group of people considers me to be a feeble-minded portion of God’s creation, well….I need to find a new group. Look, instead of worrying about us for falling away from religion….why don’t you all give us a trophy for putting up with all the bs for the last several thousand years? And if God doesn’t want me to speak in church, well…why did he give me a voice, free will, and a mind? THIS IS WHY I REFUSE TO GO!!! Treat us well, and we will come back. Continue to push us to the back pews, and we will continue to leave. That, my friends, is common sense.

  • Am I the only wild white swan who knows in my heart of hearts that there are seasons to disengage from a well-worn pattern of churchgoing and migrate to the bosom of God?

    I have not left my beloved ekklesia, only the current model of meeting together.

    Ye are not pigeons that must flock and huddle because that’s the way it’s done.

    Be free, swans of God. This may be a call of the Spirit. Be free.

  • Hope Griffin

    As a predominately military church our attendance tends to go down when the men are home. But it has more to do with only having Sundays to spend as families. I’ve noticed an increase during our weekly meetings (tuesday home school co-op and bible studies)with the women during these times. I think we just need to start looking outside of the box and stop counting numbers on Sundays (at least for our little church). Our real struggle is reaching the soldiers and getting them to come. It’s hard to minister to men who are TDY and Deployed the majority of the time and when they are home they just want to be home. We are working on some creative solutions to this but I would love any ideas.

  • Jonilum

    As a children’s pastor, i must say that the childrens ministry is not childcare, as mentioned in your second to last point.

  • Vmamafrika

    It’s such a pain to hear about how “relational” women are. I haven’t read anything in the Bible to say that men are not and we need to just stop stereotyping people and putting them in boxes. I read in the papers months ago that while girls and boys perform equally in Maths and Science, girls are still expected to be poorer. I’m not making a case for women’s equality, this is just an example of how narrowly people are viewed because of their gender (and other things such as race, but this article is about gender). Maybe the shackles of discrimination are another reason why women are leaving the church. I for one stay very far away from any group or establishment that diminishes me.

    • Rain

      I’m was just going to a church where the pastor refused to answer my questions because I’m a woman. Then I spoke to truth so he said now I’m going to hell when I die. the men refuse to speak to me

      Look at how Jesus spoke to women. He actually spoke to women!! Jesus did not go up to the woman and ask where is your husband, because I cannot speak to you!!

  • Haltaylor

    All of these comments listed by Mrs. Bowman are things we have heard quoted in the church since the 1980’s.  This trend is multifaceted and begs for new reaserch even different questions from Barna and others. I wrote a paper for my masters degree investigating if there was a cause and effect due to a churches rejection of biblical authority.  We discovered strong evidence that there is in fact a cause and effect link but not enough investigation to comfortably say the proof is defintive.  Stats show mainline churches who reject biblical authority since the seventies have experienced a steady decline in attendance and numerical pastoral numbers coming to serve.
    Fact number one should be to discover what denomination or movement with which one is affiliated.
    The second facet would be; what style of church do you attend?
    The third; generational statistics should be considered in the fall of stats for women’s attendance. Gen X and Y’s commitment to church is much lower than the Bridgers or Boomers.
    The fourth; a lifestyle survey should be included.  Woman are particpating in sin areas that once were dominated by men.  Pornography statistics show an alarming rise in viewing and participation among women.  Cursing is on the rise, fighting, pregnacy out of wedlock have all shown a sharp increase.  If a woman is going to sin like a man, chances are they are going to experience consequences like a man.
    All of the topics discussed by Mrs. Bowman are valid and occur but something else has added to the fall of women in American churches.  The reason is that all of these topics have occured for decades so what is different.  That is what we have to discover!

  • shevrae

    As a woman who doesn’t attend church as often as I used to, I can tell you that it has nothing to do with my church and everything to do with my life.  I have four young children – we miss church at least once a month due to illness and the evening services often go past bedtime.  I am grateful for Internet options that allow me to hear God’s Word even if I can’t be there in person, and I look forward to when my kids are a little older and I can be in church more often.

  • guest

    Your article hit it on the head for me.

  • maestrina

    I will agree with this article.  I am frustrated constantly by the fact that none of the men realize that i am just a couple credits away from having a degree in CHURCH music and have been a musician all my life (school and church) and yet somehow I know nothing about music and things should be led by a man.

    • Haltaylor

      There is nothing wrong with a woman leading worship.  There are many great praise leaders who write and are great musicians with and without the education.  There are a couple of things that do affect the success of women in that role.  One princible is that men are a lot less likely to participate with a woman leading than a man. Promise Keepers, Man in the Mirror, Barna, Wild at Heart, Why men hate to go to Church from David Murrow all deal with this issue.  The princible is “a woman will do masculine but a man will not do feminine”.  A woman usually chooses songs that are “love songs to Jesus” instead of power ballads that drip testosterone. Men want to sing big!!! The keys are usually in an odd key and women as well as most men who lead worship do not share the stage.  In other words if you are going to lead that is fine, but provide songs that will enable men on stage from your praise team to come forward and lead the worship within your set.  This will include more men on stage and in the pews.  This also allows for more women to lead as worship leaders. The main thing is that churches still have 61% woman attending the church and only 39% men.  The way to change that is to reach out to men and un”chic” your church.
      Hal Taylor
      Former Regional Field Director for Eastern United States for Promise Keepers

  • Mike

    I’m in the middle of “The Search for Authenic Manhood” facilitated by Robert Lewis. Your article tells me the precepts he takes from scripture are unbiblical. He does not take these scriptures out of context. 

  • Hmsloniker

    I love the perspective! For me, a big issue is the emphasis on the stay home mom and making sure she has outlets but what about the working mom? Are we not as important? We have needs too.

    • GUEST20130416

      Thanks!
      All the activities during the week that are offered at my church are for stay-at-home Moms. It is obvious that I as a single working Mom am not the target group. In an era where 50% of marriages end in divorce, churches may choose to have a very practical outlook instead of the idealistic one. 70% of American women NEED to work due to monetary reasons. Half of the marriages end in divorce anyway, whether church-going or not. Deal with it! Figure out how to reach this segment – if you want to include women. If not, then you stay where you’re at and write tax-deductible checks.