Monday, April 2, 2012
The Resignation of Eve (a review and a GIVEAWAY!)
Close your eyes and imagine a glorious typical Sunday morning—typical but without women. Most Sunday school rooms remain dark. A few men arrive with their sons but not many. Musicians struggle to lead worship without background singers. Ushers and offering counters are at full strength minus bulletins and pre-service coffee. The children's ministry is non-existent. "Won't happen," you say. Perhaps, but Jim Henderson offers up the possibility in The Resignation of Eve.
Females make up the majority of weekly churchgoers and volunteers. Yet since 1991, their attendance has declined dramatically, and the percentage of unchurched women has increased dramatically. Using statistics, interviews, and extensive research author Jim Henderson dives into the subject of women in the church.
Between 1991 and 2011,
1) Adult women attending church during any week has declined by 20%.
2) Women attending Sunday School has plummeted by 29%.
3) The percentage of remain who are characterized as "unchurched" has risen by 94% during this period.
4) More than a third of all women are now unconnected from the church.
5) Most weekly church attenders are women (53%) - and they bring their families.
6) Most church volunteers are women (57%).
7) Women are the majority in terms of attendance of adult Sunday school programs (59%).
8) 60% of those who attend small groups or Bible study are women.
9) Due to the demographic data compiled (Barna 2000 study) about the median age (56-59) of women contributing (in every sense) to the Church - women's active participation in the future of the Church has been characterized as a "dying breed." (p.252).
What if Adam's rib is no longer willing to be the church's backbone?
I found this book to be extremely challenging and riveting in all of the good ways. It made me think, it made me reevaluate, and it challenged my thinking. Henderson's use of personal interviews made this possibly controversial subject seem approachable and real. This is a book to devour. Don't keep it to yourself. Share it with your pastor, with other women, with anyone willing to read. Take time to ask the hard questions. The book is a book that will get you thinking not a definitive answer book. Therefore I won't end my review with a definitive thought on the book other than to say you need to read it.
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers I have a free copy of this book to give away! In order to win a copy post a comment with your name and e-mail address and on Friday, April 6 at 5pm (central time zone) I'll have random.org chose the winner. If you're the winner I'll contact you by e-mail.