As we near the end of our God Cares About His Women Series, I have been longing to share the fabulous writing of my friend and writing buddy, Jenny Armstrong. Jenny has written a couple thought provoking articles that I believe we should all read, contemplate, and then prayerfully take action.
She answers the question, “Why We Need More Women in Ministry,” at Relevant Magazine:
Women are leaving the church faster than men—and it’s time to bring them back.
In 2011, Barna released findings that shook people’s assumptions about religious life in America. Women, traditionally considered the more spiritual sex, were leaving the Church faster than men. A requisite month or so of uproar followed. Experts dissected the research, the blogosphere exploded and various theological traditions were blamed for the exodus.
A few provocateurs claimed it was a necessary correction, blaming “the feminization of the church” for the demise of Western Christianity. Then a book was released on the subject: Jim Henderson’s The Resignation of Eve: What if Adam’s Rib Is No Longer Willing to Be the Church’s Backbone?
Henderson’s zinger of a title summed up the problem. The church has always relied heavily on the contributions of women, from the female disciples who traveled with Jesus and funded His ministry out of their own means to the nameless grandmother who showed up early to brew the coffee you swigged down before church last week. But women are growing increasingly disenchanted with the Church, and even when they do show up, they’re sure not going to brew your coffee. Female volunteerism plunged 31 percent over the past 20 years. Continue reading at Relevant Magazine.
And over on our Redbud blog, Jenny is asking us to “Make Space for the Feminine Voice”:
Women are natural communicators. No one doubts this, really, and a quick, unscientific glance at the blogosphere confirms the female desire to enter into the conversation about important issues impacting our world. But why are so many of these bubbling female voices still running underground, or being siphoned off into their own little “women’s quarters” of Christian society?
For instance, I watched “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers” on Saturday. It was a funny, compassionate movie that all Christians would do well to watch. But the next morning, it struck me: while several women were interviewed for the film, none of the Christian leaders, the ones who spoke more or less on behalf of the establishment (for better or for worse), were female. Even among people who are working hard for a more just society, who are talking about things like compassion and reconciliation and listening to others, the female voice was strikingly absent, or at least lopsided in the way it was presented.
I’m sure this was a simple oversight, but it’s an oversight that plays out time and time again. Too often, the established power structures don’t even think to ask for a female perspective, to seek out a healthy counter-balance in areas that have traditionally been the domain of men. And that’s too bad. Continue reading at Redbud.
Do you believe women are leaving the church faster than men? If so, what can we do about it? How can we all do a better job of listening to the various voices God wants in the arena for us to see and understand Him and the world in which He has called us to live better?