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Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them Hardcover – February 1, 2009
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About the Author
Ed Stetzer is director of LifeWay Research and missiologist in residence at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds two masters and doctoral degrees and has written dozens of respected articles and books including Planting Missional Churches, Breaking the Missional Code, Compelled by Love, and Comeback Churches.
Richie Stanley is team leader at the North American Mission Board’s Center for Missional Research in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Jason Hayes is the young adult ministry specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources where he serves as a leading voice and face of Threads, the company’s young adult initiative.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ed outlines the purpose of the book by saying -
"This is a book about who the younger unchurched are and how to reach them. Yes, that may be a little old school. Many authors and speakers want to focus on fascinating and important questions like what is wrong with our belief system, how can we do this differently, and what will the future look like for churches? I have asked questions like that myself, and I will do more of that in my next book. But, in this book, Richie, Jason, and I are asking one simple question: Who are the young unchurched and how can they be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ? (OK, that's two questions.) " Lost and Found, p. 3.
And, if you think you know everything about this group, think again. They are amazingly spiritual, open to talking about spiritual matters, bugged by Christians, think about eternity, believe in God, sort of believe Jesus is special, and want to make a difference.
And, just to get you going here, a majority of younger adults wouldn't like it if your church doesn't ordain women, or doesn't welcome homosexuals. And you thought this was going to be easy, didn't you? But the authors give you some ways to address the gender and sexuality issues with this generation.
Based on three large surveys of 1,000 18-29 year olds selected intentionally to reflect the diversity of their generation, the authors are quick to state that there is no one profile that embodies all 18-29 year olds.Read more ›
Lost and Found explores what people aged 20-29, a group that is living life apart from church, believe and how churches can reach them. The book splits into three parts: Polling, Listening, and Reaching.
As a member of this age group, I thought their polling results were accurate albeit surprising. Extensive polling of hundreds of people revealed that most 20-somethings believe in the God of the Bible (over 75% I believe), believe Jesus died and rose again (roughly 65%), but believe that all gods are the same (some 90%).
The Listening part showed key "markers" of what people were looking for. The four listed were: Community, Depth (and Content), Responsibility, and Cross-Generational Connection. Immediately made sense to me and gave better insight to as why Mars Hill and Acts 29 connect so well with this generation and myself. This section really resonated with me.
The Reaching part gives examples of the churches who are doing this. As Stetzer states in the intro, they're not going to give you a magical formula to make this work. They're giving examples and ideas from people who are doing this.
Also included is a fictional story that weaves in at the end of chapters of composite characters. Thought it was a fun part of the book and was glad it didn't end with a happy ending. It just showed part of the journey.Read more ›
So why should you buy the book? You should get this book to better understand the unchurched. The team has done some great research here that will help you as you move forward. You should get this book to find insights into how churches are reaching the unchurched. Stop sitting in staff meetings trying to reinvent the wheel. You need to find the right mix for your specific church and your community, but I believe this book provides some core elements that you will need to reach out.
Several things strike me about these books.
1. They are all written based on a healthy mixture of good data (research!) and objective, Spirit-led observation of reality around them, through relationship with those that are being written about.
2. They all provide biblically-based principals, rather than faddish methodologies, based on analysis of this research and observation.
3. They all come to approximately the same conclusions.
I feel that we would do well to listen up, especially since these books come from three different organizations from three different "corners of the church" (Barna Research Group, a large church in California, and LifeWay research), and therefore aren't simply creating an echo chamber of thought.
Of the four, I found this book to be the easiest to digest, with the most recent data, clearly stated methodologies and goals, with to-the-point analysis at the end of each chapter.
The book is an engaging read. A well structured balance of research based data, personal interview, and an engaging "true story" narrative that glues the concepts together with practical advice.
The book's introduction speaks well to its purpose:
Much has been written and said about younger adults and their view of church. You don't need a lot of research to tell you what you already know...
...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really liked this book, there is a lot of good stats as any Stetzer book has! Very eye opening book.Published on December 20, 2012 by Trent A. Shivley
Ed has done it again! He has digested information for the younger generation and delivered it in an understandable way. Read morePublished on December 20, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Ed is someone who does extensive research and has a good handle on what is happening w our culture and w young people today. Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by DAVE HEMMERLE
Nice read along side the other books we were reading Essential Church, Change the World, Comeback Churches. I liked it.Published on December 4, 2012 by C
This book I found to be particularly helpful in understanding the possibilities of church outreach to 20 to 29 year olds. Read morePublished on July 19, 2011 by R. Channing Johnson
I found this book to be immensely helpful for understanding the younger generation (their values, like, dislikes, etc.) and how to reach them.Published on October 27, 2010 by Daniel Clark
One of the enigmas in American church life today is the combination of young adults who tend to consider themselves spiritual while at the same time staying away from church in... Read morePublished on March 23, 2010 by Phillip H. Steiger