In September of 1989, Rev. Billy Graham preached to tens of thousands of people gathered at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock over the course of several nights.

In one of his sermons — which you can listen to hear — Rev. Graham shared these words:

Christ did more to liberate women than any other person who ever lived. Women in many cultures today are exploited … It was Jesus Christ who treated women with honor and courtesy in a nation in which they were despised.

Theologians have noted over the centuries that the gospels list several different women as some Christ’s prominent followers during his earthly ministry and in the New Testament Church.

For many years church in attendance in America has been higher among women than among men. Today, however, young women seem to be leaving the church.

Christianity Today reports that women born after 1990 — women in their 20s and early 30s today — are no more likely to attend church than men their age, and women born after 2000 are actually less likely to attend church than men.

Among Americans age 18-25, 49% of women identify as non-religious, compared to just 46% of men.

John Stonestreet at the Colson Center recently addressed this trend, writing,

Battered by church controversies and scandals, and shaped by cultural messages, women are increasingly heading for the exit. In doing so, they are rejecting a faith that, in the words of my colleague Glenn Sunshine, has done “more to improve the status of women than any other historical force.” The Church is meant to enable and empower men and women to live as image bearers, according to God’s design.  

In this day and age, there are even many believers who think they can follow Christ without the church.

But being part of a local group of believers is an important part of discipleship. Christians help each other grow in the faith.

Put simply, men and women both need the church.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.