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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: July 5, 2017.

Feeling isolated at church?

I go to a great church, one where I feel spiritually fed and uplifted every Sunday. But even though my church does a lot of things right, there have been times when I feel like people there, including the church leadership, just don’t “get” me. Yes, I take my profession seriously, but I’m not all that unique: around 50% of all advanced degrees are going to women, and 70% of women with children under 18 are working moms (according to Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, The Life Ready Woman).

So why are there 6:00 am Bible studies for men, but not for women?

Why am I encouraged to volunteer in the nursery every year, but never with the church finance committee?  I love babies as much as the next person, but I have real gifts with business plans and numbers, why is that part of me not recognized or acknowledged?

Alone in a Church crowd

It’s important to make people feel welcomed at Church.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Women, young women especially, are giving up on the church at an alarming rate.  Barna research group reports that 27% of professional women leave the church altogether because they feel isolated and marginalized there.

I used to take this kind of thing personally, as if “the church” was out to get me and force me to conform to some cookie-cutter picture of Christian femininity. But over time I’ve realized that for the most part, it’s not personal at all.  Most “church people” don’t disapprove of me and aren’t out to change who I am, they’re just used to doing things a certain way. Many churches are open to change, they just might need a little help.

I witnessed this firsthand last week when I met with the director of women’s ministry at a large Dallas church. We were discussing some of the needs and desires of working women when the director had a “lightbulb” moment. She realized that the church offers a regular ministry breakfast focused on meeting the unique pressures of working in the business world, something a lot of women could benefit from, and yet only men have been invited.  And why? No reason at all, except that that’s the way it’s been done in the past.

If you’re feeling isolated at church, don’t give up!

You are not alone, and you are not powerless.

It’s okay to look for another church if you need to, but you should consider trying to help your church change to better serve women like you.   Here are some tips for getting started.

Raise your concerns it’s really not fair to expect change if you’ve never made your discomfort known.  Ask to meet with your pastor and/or director of women’s ministry, and take a few friends with you if you can. Don’t waste time complaining. Instead, focus on the positive- the opportunity to better minister to working women.  Start with something small- ask to plan a special weekday luncheon, early-morning coffee hour, or Sunday afternoon meeting and have a woman executive like me or Bonnie speak.





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