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Time and Tide - Women
by Sim Lee
1/03/2019 / Leadership
"For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." James 4:14b ESV
Since 2008, we have seen women become the bread-winners in the American family culture and we have seen more of them leaving their churches.
To say that life has become more difficult for women in the workplace is certainly true as more of the church-attending women are becoming salaried and working longer hours. The increase in stress is compounded by being the dominate care provider for any children they have, divorced or not.
We pre-qualify these increasing levels of stress upon women, both at work and at home, in order to give some justification as to the three leading reasons* why the modern woman and mother is leaving the church:
1. Not valued. "I really don’t think the leaders in our church value women. Our roles and opportunities are very limited. I am frustrated. I hope I can find a church where my gifts are appreciated."
2. Relationally hurt. "There was a group of ladies in our church that did everything together. When I tried to join them, they paid me no attention. I don’t want to be in a church of cliques."
3. Lack of quality childcare. "The preaching was great and the people were friendly, but the childcare was a mess. It was both unclean and unsafe. I’m not taking my child there."
As one can see, it is not the church nor the message that turns women off, it is the people and their practices.
It is tough enough to come to church without a husband, or with little sleep or rest, let alone deal with people and conditions that repel more than welcome.
Take a step back and just observe and ask about how your church measures up on just three things that were mentioned by real women in real time. If any are present, work diligently to eliminate them as best you can.
The Body of Christ is diverse indeed, but no one member should be a stumbling block to another, especially to a mother with her family in tow.
*Six Reasons Why Women May Be Leaving Your Church, Thom S. Rainer 7/20/15
Sim Lee is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.
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