If you explore the factors that differentiate successful societies from unsuccessful societies, one issue consistently rises to the top: the education of women. Successful societies educate their women. Unsuccessful societies don’t. You see this across the board. A society can’t survive or thrive when they only tap into half their intellectual talent. It’s like trying to win a fight with one hand tied behind your back.
The Church is Struggling
I think a similar problem happens in the church. In the United States and many countries around the world, the church is struggling. Church isn’t working for lots of people, and young people are leaving the church in record numbers. More people than ever are identifying as atheist, agnostic, or non-religious.
The church needs a re-boot. We need intelligent people working together to figure out how to communicate the life and teachings of Jesus to the new generations. The old way isn’t working anymore. People have different problems and unique needs.
Half the Church
If the church is to move forward and connect with the next generation, we need to better utilize women in the church. In many churches and denominations, women are barred from serving in leadership positions. They are not allowed to speak in front of the congregation, teach, make decisions, and provide input. These antiquated rules put the church at a HUGE disadvantage. Similar to societies that don’t educate their women, churches who hold women back from leadership positions are wasting half of their intellectual and spiritual resources. It’s like trying to ride a bicycle with one flat tire.
What if the next Billy Graham, Beth Moore, Rick Warren, or Rachel Held Evans is sitting in a pew somewhere, being actively held back from pursuing her gifting? These barriers for women in the church are a huge problem, not only for women but for the church as a whole. As Christians, we need to make a course correction, because women just might save the church.