More Women in Thai church

 In All

I just spoke at a church camp for 70 Thai people. I counted only 11 males which works out to a 1 to 7 ratio. On a regular Sunday, this church has a higher ratio of males to females, but overall the predominance of women in Thai churches is a well known fact.  An article from the West, “Why Women Are More Religious” prompted me to sit down and reflect on this same phenomenon here in Thailand. There are many factors that contribute to the high percentage of women in Thai churches. I will mention only six:

  1. Security – Thai women often gravitate to the security offered by God, especially when faced with financial, parenting, cultural and relational pressures.
  2. Time constraints – Thai men often put you off by claiming that making a living takes up most all their time.
  3. Social differences – Boys are often raised in female dominated households where they become used to women taking the lead in both domestic and religious life. This tends to create a lackadaisical or “sabai” (ease/comfort) lifestyle on the part of males, whereas Christianity demands a strong commitment of both time and energy.
  4. Gender differences – Thai women are naturally nurturers, sacrificial and networkers. Accepting an invitation to church is not so difficult for a female, but becomes a major step for a Thai male.
  5. Church environment – Thai men, upon entering a church, can feel that it is suited more to women due to the predominance of women/children, testimonies dominated by females and emotionally oriented music, etc. Developing and discipling new male converts is often seen as a long and difficult task for Thai church leaders, and as a result more attention is given to discipling seemingly more pliable females.
  6. Positive Male Examples – Many have written about why the first disciples to witness the resurrection were all women. The Father heart of God and winsome appeal of Jesus continues to be a strong appeal to Thai women who, like women in the first century, were often disenfranchised within their society.

Pray that Thai churches will be able to address this disparity and develop creative ways to draw more men into significant roles of leadership both in their homes and in the church.

Researchers answer: Why are woman more religious?  By Bob Ditmer

Larry Dinkins

Showing 4 comments
  • David Sheahan
    Reply

    In the case of a Sunday School teacher camp like this it might be easier to understand that there are more women attending. That said, in the wider church community numbers 1 and 5 seem to be particularly strong influences. Regarding the former, perhaps emphasizing that the gospel is more than a source of security and fulfillment is in order. Concerning the latter, perhaps fostering an atmosphere of greater reverence and less self-focus would help in the long run.

  • Kritsana Collins
    Reply

    Hello Larry,

    I am another Thai Christian woman. I am living in California with my husband. Our two children are in their careers and living in Northern and Southern California.

    I visited Payao last March, 2018 to be part of Gochen Dormitory’s dedication. I have brought my two children Christian books that I have translated into Thai language for their library, Messengers (a handheld device) of InTouch Ministries. I have had meetings with Pastors and leaders and they are struggling in maintaing the growth which means new conversions come in and the older conversions left. In my observation, they know Jesus but they don’t know how to live their lives with Jesus everyday.

    I am looking for bible study material, Inductive study, to translate into Thai. I am currently translating children books and after this project comes to completion I will work in adult materials, study books.

    Hope to here your insights and recommendations!

  • Greg Parsons
    Reply

    Good discussion points Larry….I just got a book on why men don’t go to church…it is for the U.S. Audience! I’ll let you know what I find out.
    I did glance through it and it talks about how church is really not designed for men. (I met a very successful Church Planter at the Asian Missiological Society meetings, who (in his U.S. work at least) targets men when he starts the church.
    I’m sure issues of men not gathering together (here in the U.S. at least) except around sports, or hunting or other activities is a factor.
    What do the men in our church actually talk about in-between services?
    Question: I wonder what the %-age are in the movement you told me about there??

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