Women Quitting Church

Sam Rainer

September 3, 2008

The Wall Street Journal reported on some unique research by Julia Duin, compiled in her book Quitting Church. One excerpt from the article caught my attention:

Women in particular leave evangelical churches, Ms. Duin says, because they are asked to do too little by their churches. Ms. Duin, who has a seminary degree, writes: “I have been one of those unwanted women for years.” In fact, Ms. Duin’s interest in her subject is partly autobiographical: She left a church in 2001 and didn’t find a new one until 2007. She has lived through the process of church-quitting, and she has interviewed a lot of people with the same experience.

The surprise in her findings is not that men or women leave the church because they cannot find a place to contribute. Previous research validates that low expectations correlate to low assimilation. What alarms me is the specific exodus of women. Given that, in most churches, the majority of attendees and worshipers are women, her findings should make us all think how to disciple and empower women better in the church.

7 comments on “Women Quitting Church”

  1. kdb1411 says:

    Men have been leaving for years. If the women leave as well, the American church is in bigger trouble.

  2. Chris Bonts says:

    ’bout time we got an update 🙂

    Sad thing is that in most churches I am aware of personally, the women do too much work. This report just serves as a reminder that Christians need an outlet in which they can employ their spiritual giftedness. It is the shepherd’s responsibility to make sure that occurs (Eph 4).

    Thanks for the link.


  3. Kim says:

    This describes me to a “T”. I am a 40 something single woman who attended church faithfully from 1984 to 2006. I was always involved in at least two or three ministries – often in leadership but haven’t found a new church or even attended church since I left my last one wounded and broken.

    The sad thing is that NO ONE contacted me…I just faded away quietly.

    Sad but true.

  4. Candace says:

    Bingo!!! I’m in the same boat. a 34 year old never married woman involved in a church full of married with children types. For the first time in my life I feel overqualified to be in church because I’ve left more churches than the average person has been involved in in their lifetime simply because I have not been able to use my gifts to serve God and others. I’m ready to leave again and never come back.

  5. Lorene says:

    Me too.

    The only times I have ever enjoyed church is when I am using my gifts. But as I grow more proficient and wise I am not allowed to use my gifts as a woman. I have left the church and I am loving it. I have found there are a lot of young adults out there who need someone to challenge them to think things through. They get nothing from church and don’t go.

    So I have wonderful, assumption busting spiritual and Biblical conversations with them that challenge me and hopefully them also.

    Something big would have to change for me to give one more minute of my gifts to a local church.

  6. James says:

    women get back in church where you belong before the devil strikes you down.

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