Home Christian News What the Church Is Missing About Moms—Barna, MOPS Reveal Surprising New Research

What the Church Is Missing About Moms—Barna, MOPS Reveal Surprising New Research

“If you were to ask the Barna team what [is] the number one finding that most surprised us out of this whole study,” said Kimberlin, “it’s this.” While the majority of moms are well-connected in community, their satisfaction with those relationships is “much lower than you might think.”

When asked if their community supports them as mothers, only 34% of all mothers agreed, along with 34% of self-identified Christian mothers and 35% of non-Christian mothers. Regarding whether they trust their communities to care for their children, those who agreed were 30% of all mothers, 32% of self-identified Christian mothers and 27% of non-Christian mothers.

To the question of whether women feel that they can be fully themselves in their communities, only 32% of all mothers, 32% of self-identified Christian mothers and 30% of non-Christian mothers agreed that they could. So, said Kimberlin, just because a mother is in community, church leaders should not assume that community is life-giving to her. 

Other data shows some alarming results in areas of mothers’ lives apart from their children. Seventy percent of mothers say they are very satisfied with their relationships with their kids, which is not too surprising, but their satisfaction with other parts of their lives decreases from there. 

Only 58% of married mothers are very satisfied in their marriages, while 55% of mothers who are unmarried are very satisfied in their relationships. Thirty-five percent of mothers report being very satisfied with their friendships, and only 21% say they are very satisfied with their mental health. Twenty percent of respondents reported a high degree of satisfaction in their careers, and 14% said that they were very satisfied with their financial health.

“Other areas of life are suffering for these women,” said Kimberlin. “Are we taking notice?”

Shockingly low numbers of mothers report feeling that they regularly, meaningfully contribute to the world. Nineteen percent of all moms agreed that they did, compared to 21% of self-identified Christian moms and 14% of non-Christian moms. These findings are striking, particularly considering the data showing how much of an impact mothers have on people’s lives.

Furthermore, many moms report feeling held back in church 1) because of their gender (38%) and 2) because they are mothers (51%).

Kimberlin offered three takeaways for church leaders from the findings. First, church leaders should evaluate the quality of the communities that mothers are connecting with and work to make those communities “safe, authentic and supportive.” Second, church leaders should take care to disciple mothers holistically, and third, they should provide mothers with equal opportunities.