I read another blog this morning about how we must change women’s ministry because young women are leaving in droves. Ed Stetzer (2015) reported, “In short, millennials are becoming secular in droves, often dropping their Christian self-identification. Yet, there are many who are still devout believers, and that percentage has not dropped in “droves.” Church attendance has remained stable. According to Gallup 39 percent of Americans said they attended church in 1950 and that percentage is the same in 2013 (Newport, 2015). There have been fluctuations, but church attendance has remained consistently around 40 percent in the United States.
If young women are not leaving the church in droves are they still participating in women’s ministry? The answer is yes – and no. Yes, they are still participating in ministry for women, but they are doing it more in-line with changes in American culture. All church programs are being reevaluated for relevancy to today’s world. A millennial young man does not worship the same as the boomer generation nor would we expect that he would.
We need to change our discussion from why the traditional women’s ministry, reflecting a culture that was less technologically connected, is no longer relevant to one about raising up a generation of women that can lead the next group of young women already called Generation Z. Millennials are between 18 and 34 years old. Many women’s ministries are led by very capable millennial aged women. It is not that we need to attract millennials to women’s ministry, but that we must mentor, support, and encourage them to continue to advance the Kingdom. It is time to stop vilifying the heritage of women’s ministry and instead to stand on that experience to take the next step forward.
Newport, F. (2015). Frequent church attendance. Gallup. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/181601/frequent-church-attendance-highest-utah-lowest-vermont.aspxg_source=39%%20attend%20church&g_medium=searc&g_campaign=tiles
Stetzer, E. (2015). Let’s de-mythologize church culture. The Exchange. Retrieved from http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/september/lets-de-mythologize-church-culture.html