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You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith Hardcover – October 1, 2011


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You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith + unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...and Why It Matters + You Lost Me Discussion Guide: Starting Conversations Between Generations...On Faith, Doubt, Sex, Science, Culture, and Church
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801013143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801013140
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

More than half of all Christian teens and twentysomethings leave active involvement in church.

David Kinnaman trains his researcher's eye on these young believers and reveals the factors that contribute to the dropout problem. You Lost Me shows why Christians ages 18 to 29 are leaving the church and rethinking their commitment to the faith.

Based on new research conducted by the Barna Group, You Lost Me exposes ways the Christian community has failed to equip young adults to live "in but not of" the world--to follow Christ in the midst of profound cultural change. This wide-ranging study debunks persistent myths about young dropouts and examines the likely consequences for young adults and for the church if we maintain the status quo.

The faith journeys of the next generation are a challenge to the established church, but they can also be a source of hope for the community of faith. Kinnaman, with the help of contributors from across the Christian spectrum, offers ideas for pastors, youth leaders, parents, and educators to pass on a vibrant, lasting faith, and ideas for young adults to find themselves in wholehearted pursuit of Christ.

From the Back Cover

Is the church losing the next generation?

Millions of young Christians are disconnecting from church as they transition into adulthood. They're real people, not just statistics. And each one has a story to tell.

"I knew from church that I couldn't believe in both science and God, so that was it. I didn't believe in God anymore."--Mike

"When I write a song that's not used in a way that every Christian agrees on, I get hammered. What am I supposed to be using my talents for?"--Sam

"I felt like I had been punched in the stomach . . . I remember thinking on the way home, My non-Christian friends would never do that to me."--Sarah

"It just feels like the church's teaching on sexuality is behind the times."--Dennis

Now the bestselling coauthor of unChristian reveals the long-awaited results of a new nationwide study of 18- to 29-year-olds with a Christian background. Discover why so many are disengaging from the faith community, renew your hope for how God is at work in the next generation--and find out how you can join in.

Includes ideas for passing on a flourishing, deep-rooted faith from:

Jon Acuff
Francis Chan
Shane Claiborne
Kenda Creasy Dean
Joshua DuBois
Donna Freitas
Steven Garber
Sara Groves
Gabe Lyons
Sean McDowell
Scot McKnight
Jedd Medefind
Britt Merrick
Walt Mueller
John Ortberg
Charlie Peacock
Kara Powell
Mark Regnerus
Richard Stearns
John Stonestreet
And many more

More About the Author

David Kinnaman is the president and majority owner of Barna Group, a visionary research and resource company located in Ventura, California. He is the author of two bestselling books, unChristian and You Lost Me, which focus on the spiritual lives of teens and twentysomethings. During Kinnaman's 17 years at the firm, he has supervised or directed interviews with more than 350,000 individuals and leaders. He and his wife Jill have three children, Emily, Annika, and Zack.

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Customer Reviews

Every pastor, parent and church leader should read this book.
Pete Sutton
It will help them understand how their Mosaics think, why they are disengaged from church, and what might be done to hand on the faith to a new generation.
George P. Wood
It is very revealing because the author took the time to investigate what is wrong ans what needs to be done.
Weber Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Caleb Breakey on October 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 2:00 Mins
Chances are you know about The Great Departure: Christian youth leaving the church. It's the very reason why I wrote a book to help Millennials follow Jesus without leaving the church: Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church. Anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of professing believers are going to walk away from their faith by their twenties.

Yeah, serious.

So how are parents, pastors and youth workers/mentors supposed to counter this?

David Kinnaman's You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith explores this very question and sparks ideas as to how we can help young people own their faith. He also takes a look at how this generation is "discontinuously different" from all others before it, and why this fact is important to understand.

Below I've listed: 1) key definitions; 2) what to expect inside the book; and 3) a sampling of the nuggets I took away from it.

' Key definitions from Kinnaman:

...Nomads: They walk away from church engagement but still consider themselves Christians.
...Prodigals: They lose their faith, describing themselves as "no longer Christian."
...Exiles: They are still invested in their Christian faith but feel stuck (or lost) between culture and the church.
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Format: Hardcover
"The ages eighteen to twenty-nine are the black hole of church attendance," writes David Kinnaman. Most church leaders and Christian parents know this. And most believe that the "next generation" will return to church once they've married and had kids. There's some truth to this belief. Church involvement among Boomers and Busters followed predictable patterns, with participation in childhood and adulthood sandwiching non-participation in young adulthood. And yet, this generation--referred to as Mosaics--may very well be different than preceding generations. The goal of You Lost Me is to "define the dropout problem [of Mosaics] and interpret its urgency." No church leader or Christian parent can read Kinnaman's research and remain complacent about the absence of Mosaics. It is an urgent problem requiring thoughtful solutions.

The culture in which Mosaics have grown up is "discontinuously different" from the culture of preceding generations. "The next generation is living in a new technological, social, and spirituality reality," Kinnaman argues; "this reality can be summed up in three words: access, alienation, and authority." Access refers to "the changing means and methods of communicating and finding information." Alienation refers to the "very high levels of isolation from family, community, and institutions" experienced by Mosaics. And authority refers to "[t]he changing spiritual narrative" told by the culture, leaving Mosaics asking "new questions about what to believe and why." Mosaics have more information, fewer role models, and more questions about what constitutes truth than preceding generations. These social realities "have deeply affected the cognitive and emotional process of `encoding' faith" in the next generation.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Cook on September 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
David Kinnaman has done it again. With great skill and concern for the Body of Christ, David helps everyone understand that a new generation of Christians is not intentionally belligerant, angry, fed up... etc. but that the young Christians today have questions. Good questions. Theological questions. Questions that must be answered and not simply brushed aside by the Church. He has identified the young Christians as either Nomads, Exiles or Prodigals - with each group at various stages of the questioning/leving process. But regardless of the path or stage, they have one thing in common: these young Christians do care about faith and God... they are simply looking for answers - and want to be part of the solution as well.

Use this book to start the conversations in your faith community... we cannot afford to lose 60% of young Christians, when all we need to do is hear them and listen to them... and engage in conversation.

Thank you David for yet another compassionate yet clear call for the Church to engage in loving action.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Lang on February 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Since we Americans have a "can do" attitude, we tend to think every problem has a solution. Obviously not. After all, we all die, eventually. Some things are inevitable, and though it gives me no pleasure to say this, I think it's certain: in our increasingly secular and hedonistic culture, Christianity is going to decline - numerically, anyway. The mainline (liberal) churches have been declining for 60 years because they conform so closely to the secular culture that most people don't think it's worth getting up on Sunday morning. But the evangelical churches are affected too, and though numerically they seem healthy enough at the present, the fact is that most people, especially the under-30s, have only a superficial knowledge of the Bible and Christian belief. There are plenty of self-styled evangelicals who, according to surveys, don't believe in hell, think Christianity is only one way to heaven, that it is wrong to try to convert others, that sex is a purely private matter that is of no concern to God or the church. In other words, lots of people in the churches are not, strictly speaking, Christians. They've learned the mantras - inclusive, tolerance, nonjudgmental, etc - which means they look at traditional Christianity with a jaundiced eye.

What can be done about the people who drop out of a church they consider "repressive" or "exclusive"? In my opinion, not much - because the church as Jesus and the apostles designed it is inevitably going to get called "repressive" and "exclusive" and even worse things in this culture. There's no getting around it. I read You Lost Me hoping the author might have some suggestions for how to hold onto the churches' young people. "We need new architects to design interconnected approaches to faith transference. . . .
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