Jenni Catron: Reaching the Other Half of the Church
1) Be aware of culture.
While our job as the church is not necessarily to follow culture, I do believe we’re responsible for being aware of culture and how it impacts reaching and discipling people. Gone are the days where every young woman pines away solely for marriage and children. Yes, they still want those things, but they also want an education, a successful career, and a chance to develop their unique identity. Statistics tell us that the average age women get married now is 30 years old. This statistic has changed drastically from even as little as a decade ago. In addition, there are more single women than married women in the U.S. today, and we know that they are more educated than ever before. In light of these statistics, what are you doing differently to connect with today’s young woman? What are these women subconsciously hearing from your church?
2) Be intentional. Create a plan to more actively involve women in ministry.
Young women operate under the assumption that hospitality roles and kids' ministry are the only options for them to serve. These are the traditional roles they have seen women serve in all their lives, so they assume that those are still the only acceptable roles.
Will you accept the challenge to communicate a different message to them? Will you show them that the church is eager for them to be a part?
Questions to consider:
• Where do women most visibly serve in your church? The café, the nursery? How about production, on stage, or on leadership teams?
• What percentage of your key leaders are women?
• When do you offer women’s groups and at what times? Are they mostly during the day and targeted to moms? Or do you have evening groups and subjects that connect with professional women and singles? If you are not consciously creating opportunities, you’re subconsciously telling them who you value.
• If you were a single, professional young woman, would you be able to easily identify where you fit inside your church?
I fear that our lack of awareness of the changing dynamics of today’s young women is creating a chasm between their interest and engagement in the church. Will you consider how your church can reach them better and allow their God-given gifts to thrive for the Kingdom?