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Working Women Are Leaving the Church – Here’s How to Win Them Back

leaving the church

If you’ve ever thought or spoken aloud one of the sentiments below, you might be one of the thousands of working women leaving their churches because they feel their church “just doesn’t get me.” And, as women who work outside the home are leaving the church, they’re taking their husbands, children, desire to serve and even their pocketbooks with them.

“I feel invisible.”

“I manage a multi–million dollar portfolio at work. When I offered to help with the finances at our church, the finance committee never responded.”

“I tried to sign up for a Bible study, but the only groups for women meet on weekday mornings. I wish I didn’t have to choose between supporting my family and connecting with other women at church.”

Competing Priorities and the Camouflaged

In 2015, a Barna study found that 27 percent of professional women are leaving the church, and those women make up a significant portion of the 38 percent of adult Christian women who say they haven’t attended church in the past six months.

The unchurched gender gap is also shrinking: Just over a decade ago, 40 percent of the unchurched in America were women; today, that number has grown to 46 percent.

But statistics only matter if we know the why behind them.

While just under half of women said attending church was very or somewhat important to them, many of these women just aren’t frequently making it to church. Competing priorities like family commitments, personal time, and work or career keep women from regularly attending church on Sundays, or leaving the church.

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Diane Paddison, 4word Founder and President, is a Harvard MBA graduate, former global executive of two Fortune 500 companies and one Fortune 1000 company, and serves as an independent director for two corporations and four not-for-profits. A leading advocate for the professional Christian women community, Diane published Work, Love, Pray in 2011, laying the foundation for 4word. Diane speaks on life/work balance, mentoring/sponsorship, and impactful leadership at events across the country. She authors weekly posts at 4word and is a featured columnist for Today’s Christian Woman. Diane and her husband, Chris, have four children and live in Dallas, Texas.