Jump directly to the content

Are Women Happy At Church? Nearly 75% Say Yes, Yet Feel Guilty

New Barna research shows "enormous range of experiences" for women in churches.

Christian women today are just as likely as Christian men to self-identify as "leaders" (1 out of 3). And of those who do, more than half say their primary outlet for leadership is in their church, according to a new research series from the Barna Group.

Of the 600 Christian women surveyed by Barna, only 24 percent say their church does not allow women on its pastoral team, whereas 62 percent say all pastoral roles are open to women.

Four out of five women surveyed agree that their church "values the leadership of women as much as men" in its actions. More than 70 percent said they are "doing meaningful ministry" at their church, and 55 percent "expect [their] influence to increase."

However, more than 30 percent of women feel "resigned to low expectations" at their church, and 20 percent feel "under-utilized."

Most intriguingly, nearly 75 percent of the 600 women surveyed feel they "can and should be doing more to serve God."

Barna Group president David Kinnaman says this study helps shed light on the debate over women's roles within Christian communities. While many women are satisfied with their churches, an increasing number have been avoiding church, he said.

"The research shows there is an enormous range of experiences for women in today's churches, from those who are very satisfied to those who feel as if the church is one of the least welcoming places for them to be," Kinnaman said.

CT's Her.meneutics blog offers daily coverage of women's issues, including recent analysis of gender differences, the rise of biblical masculinity, and the lack of women in public life and as city leaders.

Related Topics:Sexuality and Gender
Posted:August 15, 2012 at 6:06PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
YWAM Missionaries Won’t Be Deported over Visa Issue
With 300 missionaries at risk during sponsorship suspension, organization learned “hard lessons” about record-keeping.
Robert P. George to Saudi Arabia: Whip Me Instead of Raif Badawi
Offering to take 100 lashes each, 7 of 9 USCIRF commissioners 'would rather share in' blogger's punishment than 'watch him being cruelly tortured.'
No Worship Services in Public Schools, New York Mayor Tells Supreme Court
Bill de Blasio campaigned on the promise of letting churches rent school space. Now he’s asking the Supreme Court to prohibit it.
Obama to Imprisoned Pastor's Wife: Saving Saeed Abedini in Iran Is 'a Top Priority'
Abedini's 6-year-old son asks President of the United States: 'Please bring daddy home' by March birthday.
Christianity Today
Are Women Happy At Church? Nearly 75% Say Yes, Yet Feel Guilty