Half the Church

What is it costing us when half the church’s gifts go untapped?

I’ve been wrestling with this question quite a lot lately.

Conversations are stirring in the church world of our inability to engage the 21st century female.

Here are some things that I hear repeatedly:

“I don’t know where I fit in the church.”

“I feel like I don’t belong because I’m a single woman and everything the church does is for wives and mothers.”

“I don’t want to just serve in nursery or kids ministry, but I don’t know how to get involved in other ways.”

Before I came on ministry staff full-time, I used to feel this way too.  However, I remained silent thinking I was just the unusual one.   (I was pretty sure that I must have been given a male brain in a woman’s body.)

The truth is that the majority of the 20 & 30 something women in your churches feel this way.  They may be attending, but they are sitting quietly back out of respect and uncertainty.  They really wrestle with whether they fit in the church at all anymore.

Church leaders: Are we really ok with that?  Are we really ok with perpetuating half the population’s feelings of uncertainty and worth?

If you are willing to engage the discussion, I want to beg you to check out Carolyn Custis James new book, Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women

Women comprise at least half the world, and usually more than half the church, but so often Christian teaching to women either fails to move beyond a discussion of roles or assumes a particular economic situation or stage of life.  This all but shuts women out from contributing to God’s kingdom as they were designed to do.  Furthermore, the plight of women in the Majority World demands a Christian response, a holistic embrace of all that God calls women and men to be in his world.

Carolyn Custis James unpacks three transformative biblical themes, showing how God gives women a new identity that frees them to embrace the life he gives.

Half the Church embodies a positive, kingdom approach to the changes, challenges, and opportunities facing women throughout the world today.

What trends do you see in how young women are being engaged in the church today?


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  • Bethany Planton May 18, 2011  

    I am definitely going to add Half The Church to my list of books to read.

    I do think some of this depends on how young (or old) a church is and how big it is. I attend a service that was started in 2005 which is now just slightly over 500 people weekly. I think more of the women are involved than other services where the congregation is larger and it has been going on for decades.

  • Stefanie Cassetto May 18, 2011  

    I’m reading Half the Sky right now by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Half the Church is on my nightstand ready to read next!

  • Jenn G May 23, 2011  

    Um…wow! Talk about a book to add to my wishlist. 🙂

  • Joy Eggerichs June 1, 2011  

    I just heard her lecture here in Portland. She was fantastic. (just found your site thanks to our friend Miss Nobles.)