So I went and had a facial yesterday, and the aesthetician (and business owner) was a 30 something women, and we got on very well from the start. The conversation came around to how many new churches are being built in this area, and I said I was surprised by it all. She had a very interesting take on the situation. She feels that the influx of well-off retired people (55 plus) contributes to the new churches, because the women especially want to go to church, and enjoy lots of church activities. The men go along to keep the women happy (although not nearly as engaged in the religion) and then they are free to golf as much as they want. She had several well-thought out reasons behind her assertion, including the fact that this age group of women may be the last that will follow men (subjection as wives) but they really do have their own agenda, and this is how they achieve it. On the surface the men are still the preachers (mostly) and "take the lead" (not her exact words, but of course that's the phrase that comes to my mind) but the women do the actual work.
BUT - once this age group dies out, the churches will shrink, because younger women like herself just don't want to follow men around like puppies in a religious environment. Far too independent, and many more are single.
I think this is really an interesting observation. And what about the JWs? What will happen to the congregations once the older generation of women die off? I really don't know any young women in the congregation at present, but are younger ones as interested in being tied to following men? Are they able to be more independent? Are they getting any higher education? Do they like the way single women are treated (I'm sure not)? What will happen if there continues to be a shortage of "capable men reaching out" (ugh)?
I'm sure the GB has no intention of including women in any meaningful way in the congregations, so could this contribute to the shrinkage? Your thoughts......