Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches? by Sandra Crawford Williamson (Also discusses never married adult women)
As has been covered many times on this blog, and in a few books about adult singles by other Christian authors, most conservative churches (Baptists, Reformed / Calvinist and evangelicals are the worst), continue to marginalize, ignore, or insult anyone who does not fit their ideal of “Married parent.”
If you are never married, divorced, widowed, infertile, and don’t fit the dated June Cleaver stereotype of stay at home wife and mother, you will either be overlooked regularly, or insulted.
(Link): Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches? by Sandra Crawford Williamson
- By on December 5, 2014
- When we look in the pews on Sunday morning, what kinds of women do we see?Wives with their husbands? Mothers with their children? The single women sitting alone in the back rows?
Yes, they are all of those things and so much more. How do we use these women to grow and serve the church?
Camouflaged in Church
In America, 47% of the workforce is made up of women, and the percentage has doubled in every age category since 1950, according to the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee. The Committee also reports that 83% of women raising children work outside of the home, compared to 47% in 1975. AND a whopping 75% of them work full-time!
These women are out there. In fact, We may not realize that half of the women in the church are working women, because they are camouflaged.
We’re not talking about green outfits. No, her camouflage looks different. Her camouflage is her Sunday-best, children calling her “Mommy,” and maybe a strong, spiritual husband beside her. She blends with others because there is no other group for her.
And what about the single women who don’t get married until later in life? They don’t fit into the different affinity groups: “moms”, “married”, “divorced.” And the “singles” are often college-aged/recent graduates that don’t relate to them either.
Many of these women haven chosen to not marry yet and are in the workplace, but they often quietly slip in and out of church to avoid the sympathy, advice, and blind dates that are thrown their way. Sadly, they may end up seeing themselves as “not-mothers” and “not-wives” instead of someone who is pursuing her Ephesians 2:10 calling in the workplace.
What the Church Isn’t Seeing
In the church, there is no way for us to see that one of these women may wake up Monday morning and run a multi-billion dollar firm, argue a legal case, or manage a $500 million investment portfolio.
There’s no way for us to see the constant spiritual warfare she faces in the workplace, her mission field. They are game-changers, bravely facing the corporate world and all the challenges that it holds.
- These women are also in need of encouragement and support as they leave the church walls after the service and get thrown into the competitive, often harsh corporate world.Let’s change our view of them, see them for all they are, and help them.
Why are Working Women Starting to Unplug from Their Churches?
We need to figure out quickly how to recognize, encourage, and spiritually lead these women. Barna and others say as many as 27% of professional Christian women are starting to choose to unplug from church all together. Why is that?
Evidence says four reasons are given as to why she chooses to stay home from church.
1. The examples from the pulpit don’t pertain to me because they are often about men in business and women in the home.
Psychology tells us that if a human doesn’t see themselves in a picture, they will put it down and be uninterested. The professional women in the pew need to see and hear themselves painted into the spiritual message picture on Sunday morning, and beyond, in a way that pertains to her life.
Takeaway: Messages could include more examples of women doing things outside of the home.
- 2. I am underutilized at church so I don’t feel my spiritual gifts are recognized or respected.
- Even though these women have giftedness outside of traditional home skills, they are often only asked to make casseroles and work in the church nursery.
- These women may not be asked to serve on church committees, even though the topics may be her Monday – Friday areas of expertise.
- Add this example to the facts that she is already very busy and that only 20% of humans respond to a need when asked to volunteer, and you get a major untapped resource inside your church that may leave because she is not called upon to use her gifts.
- Takeaway: Find her and her gifts and use her for God’s glory INSIDE the church.
- 3. I feel isolated at church because there is no bucket into which I fit.
- These women look around and see all of the buckets of people that are being served, such as “the young marrieds,” “the singles,” “the youth,” “the married with children,” “empty-nesters,” “divorced,” “retired,” etc., and do not find a label that fully encompasses all they are.
- She is a woman AND a business leader. Her daily challenges are unique. Yet, there is no unique group that addresses all of the life parts with which she is faced.
- Takeaway: Start an authentic Women in Business movement in your church by tapping into a few key women and give them the appropriate support.
Read the rest at: Why Are Working Women Unplugging From the Church
Regarding this part:
- 1. The examples from the pulpit don’t pertain to me because they are often about men in business and women in the home.
I made the same point here, (Link): Candice Watters and Boundless Blog Gets It Wrong / Christian prolonged singlehood singleness singles ignored
You see, there are actually Christians who believe the solution to helping singles who desire marriage to get married is for preachers to talk about and sermonize about marriage even more than they already do. I pointed out what a big mistake that is.
You must meet people where they are, not lecture them to where you hope they will be one day.
That is, so long as I remain single, I want my singleness to be supported and discussed, which means, if preachers are going to sermonize about marriage (and they do so, quite often), they sometimes need to discuss adult singleness on occasion.
As a never married woman who is past the age of 40, I do not need to hear my one billionths marriage sermon. I have sat thru many, many marriage sermons. I don’t need to hear another one. It would not kill the married persons in the congregation to hear a sermon about adult singleness every so often.
See this post:
Adult singles need to be met where they are- which means, they need to hear material that is applicable to them. Preachers who never shut their pie holes up about marriage are driving adult singles away from churches, they are not encouraging such singles to run out and get married.