Women ARE the Backbone of The Church, Here’s the Numbers

George Barna refers to as the backbone of the church. (p. xvi). According to Barna, between 1991 and 2011:

  1. Adult women attending church during any week has declined by 20%.
  2. Women attending Sunday School has plummeted by 29%.
  3. The percentage of women who are characterized as “unchurched” has risen by 94% during this period.
  4. More than a third of all women are now unconnected from the church.
  5. Most weekly church attenders are women (53%) – and they bring their families.
  6. Most church volunteers are women (57%).
  7. Women are the majority in terms of attendance of adult Sunday school programs (59%).
  8. 60% of those who attend small groups or Bible study are women.
  9. The typical Christian in America is a woman age 56-59 (a.k.a.  a dying breed)

6 thoughts on “Women ARE the Backbone of The Church, Here’s the Numbers

  1. Thank you for the update. Perhaps this is the Lord’s way of pointing out that women should have been in leadership for the past 20 centuries, too.

  2. Marlene

    To say that women “should” have been in leadership for the last 20 centuries misses the point entirely in my mind. Leadership couches the entire question in a male oriented context. It invites women to be like men, to achieve male status symbols. Women are different than men, not lesser or worse, just different. On this one point, I tend to agree with those who say God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. God didn’t churn out clones. So no, I’m not so much thinking that women need to be in leadership as much as the structure may be best served by separating itself from the hierarchical, power oriented paradigm entirely.

    Do note that God didn’t want to give Israel a king because that would take some of their focus off of God. Building a structure that idolizes a pastor as opposed to growing a “Body” is yet another way of saying women will pretzelize themselves to fit into a male paradigm.


    I have to ask what your motivation is with this book? What are you hoping it starts? (and yes, I’m on the wait list).

    Raising awareness on other feminist issues has led to most of the “Feminists” that I know of becoming just as much power-focused and aggressive as the men they claim to be better than. Which in my mind plays out the flip side of the Curse (Genesis 3). Women have become the enablers and eventually the scapegoats for the direction things go because many men have often become too weak to take the responsibility that is theirs in managing the Creation. Sometimes the best course of action when one part of a system becomes passive is to encourage the other part of the system to back off to allow the passive partner to feel the pain of not contributing. Church as it is today teaches women to be those enablers. I think the best thing for them is to just walk away, much as John Galt appealed to those of competence to go “on strike”. Barna’s numbers say women are getting a clue. The issue with this is how can they preserve their own spirituality while playing something other than the Superwoman role?

    Just as Jim seeks people who don’t always agree with his viewpoint, it would have been good if Adam had actively disagreed with Eve’s activities instead of sitting on his hands. Thus we play out the same story again. My question is how do we break this repetition compulsion?

  3. One last thought. In my mind, the best thing women can do to encourage others to help with the religious domestic chores is to take a page from the Tom Sawyer playbook.

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