At a time when women have more advantages and opportunities in churches than ever, more organizations devoted to women’s equality and liberation within the Church, a recent poll seems quite surprising. In the past 20 years, the percentage of women attending church during a typical week has decreased by 11% and is now 44%, the Barna Group reported August 1 , 2011.
Along with a decrease in attendance, women have stopped volunteering at their churches. The poll also found that only 40% of women read their Bibles each week, whereas two decades ago, 50% of all women did.
The survey also found that women are stepping away from congregations and a 17% increase in the number of women who have become “unchurched.”
“For years, many church leaders have understood that ‘as go women, so goes the American church,'” wrote Barna Group founder George Barna, on his website. “Looking at the trends over the past 20 years, and especially those related to the beliefs and behavior of women, you might conclude that things are not going well for conventional Christian churches.”
They found that the percentage of women who strongly believe the Bible is accurate in all it teaches declined by 7% to 42%. And those who view God as “the all-knowing, all-powerful and perfect Creator of the universe who still rules the world today” dropped to 70% from the previous 80%.
“Women used to put men to shame in terms of their orthodoxy of belief and the breadth and consistency of their religious behavior,” wrote Barna. “No more; the religious gender gap has substantially closed.”
Women are no longer being consistent in their religious commitment or having more depth in their beliefs. Women have been the majority of the devoted and faithful attenders.
In a day and age where women have more leadership opportunities within the Church, more opportunities for theological education, and are more liberated than ever within religious circles, why are there now less women in those churches? Why are they reading their Bibles less, volunteering less frequently, and believing less in the accuracy of Scripture?
Tell why YOU think this is…