Church, women’s discipleship has a problem. Over the past few decades, an evolution has taken place in church-based women’s ministry. Slowly but surely, the church has lost its place of influence in the spiritual formation of its female members. How do we know this? Because the marketplace for female spiritual teachers has exploded, fueled by Christian women who long to hear solid biblical teaching and to be challenged in their spiritual lives by fellow women. Sadly, because the church has been slow to engage women in using their gifts within traditional church structures, other avenues have opened up. The rise of the blogosphere, women’s conferences, and female writers, teachers, and personalities have given women a legitimate place to encourage other women in their Christian faith. Our hearts and our dollars have followed. In essence, the church has outsourced women’s discipleship, thereby relinquishing its role in the spiritual formation of half the church.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson tackle the state of women’s discipleship today, how it got this way, and some steps forward from here. Spurring the conversation is the recent uproar regarding statements by author Jen Hatmaker on her approval of same sex marriage. With her massive following, Hatmaker’s comments speak to more than a cultural shift in marriage—it also reveals something deeper about the leading voices in the spiritual formation of women. If the church is to invest in this half of the church, women’s ministry needs an overhaul.

Listen to Persuasion Episode 75:

Links for the Show:


How Christian women are making ‘holy mischief’ in the church, by Emily McFarlan Miller

Why Wendy Alsup Wants Laywomen to Be Theologians, by CT’s The Calling Podcast

The high cost of popular evangelical Jen Hatmaker’s gay marriage comments, by Katelyn Beaty

Theme music by Maiden Name.