Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Essential Church?: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts Hardcover – September 1, 2008
|New from||Used from|
2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Thom S. Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest Christian resource companies worldwide, and the best-selling coauthor of Simple Church. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons and live in Nashville, Tennessee.
Sam S. Rainer is a senior pastor, writer, and the president and CEO of Rainer Research. He also blogs and writes a column for Outreach magazine and lives with his wife, Erin, in Floyds Knobs, Indiana.
Top Customer Reviews
These statisticians have written a book that examines the trend of church drop-outs. What their research shows is that the American church is in decline, and the largest group of people dropping out of church is young adults aged 18 to 22. Seventy percent of this age group are dropping out of church while only 30% are staying. Consequently the conclusions they draw and the suggestions they make are aimed at what churches can do to stem the tide of back door users in this age group. Even so, the material can be applied across age brackets when church leaders are trying to invigorate their churches.
The book is divided into two sections: Part 1, dedicated to the research itself explaining "why people are leaving the nonessential church"; and part 2, relating "how essential churches close the back door." The dire picture that the statistics paints is one that causes the first part of the book to seem rather on the negative side.
What we are exposed to in part one is the stark reality that the American church is in decline.Read more ›
Top Ten Reasons Church Dropouts Stopped Attending Church
1. Simply wanted a break from church.
2. Church members seemed judgmental or hypocritical.
3. Moved to college and stopped attending church.
4. Work responsibilities prevented me from attending.
5. Moved too far away from the church to continue attending.
6. Became too busy though still wanted to attend.
7. Didn't feel connected to the people in my church.
8. Disagreed with the church's stance on political or social issues.
9. Chose to spend more time with friends outside the church.
10.Was only going to church to please others.
The premise of Essential Church is that the reason they leave boils down to this... "Churchgoing students drop out of the church because it is not essential to their lives."
Part 1: Why People Leave the Nonessential Church
Chapter 1: My Faith is Not My Parents' Faith
Chapter 2: Looking for a different kind of community
Chapter 3: That's Life!Read more ›
Apparently, the problem I noticed in 2001 has only grown. Many churches today are waking up to the fact that a generation of young people is missing from the church. The twenty-something crowd has largely disappeared, and most churches know neither why they have left nor what they can do to get them back.
The statistics show that two-thirds of churchgoing young adults drop out between the ages of 18 and 22. These numbers serve as an indictment against the methods and training common to most children and youth ministries. The numbers also indicate an abdication of responsibility on the part of parents to raise their children to value the church.
This sad phenomenon is described in detail in Essential Church?: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts(Broadman & Holman, 2008) by Thom and Sam Rainer. In Essential Church, the Rainers (father and son) tell us the reasons young people give for leaving church and what the church must do to win them back.
In the first part of the book, the authors show why young people leave what they call the "nonessential church." In the second part, they show four qualities present in churches that retain their young people through the college years.
I appreciate the way in which Thom and Sam Rainer can share stastics and give advice without emphasizing formulas over substance. Again and again, they say that theirs is not a formula for "success.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First let me say that this book is highly recommended.
The fatal flaw is a fundamental misunderstanding of statistics that has been used to make erroneous conclusions in... Read more
To help the reader think through the development of their leadership ability. How to develop the “vision, value, influence, and motivation required of... Read more
If you liked "Simple Church" then you will love this book too. It's very convicting. There is plenty of work I need to do at church now.Published 11 months ago by William Dyer
If you are looking for statistics on people leaving the church, this book has more than you will ever need. Read morePublished 15 months ago by adam
It is no secret the church is losing young people. Many 18-22 year olds are choosing to leave the church. Why? Read morePublished 16 months ago by Theron St.John
Informative. Helpful. Perhaps not all the statistics reported helped the authors' cases in some instances, but on the whole this book is useful for any who want to make their... Read morePublished 21 months ago by David Matthew Carver
I am a member of a non-essential church. I loved my clutching this book has called us out. We cannot reach out to the unchurched if we have nothing to offerPublished on December 16, 2013 by YOUTHGUY
This book covers a variety of information which would be helpful to congregations in recruiting younger members and/or keeping their youth interested in a life-time commitmentPublished on March 22, 2013 by Nancy M S