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Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it Paperback – May 28, 2009
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This book is the result of a collaborative project between Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and Britt Beemer of America's Research Group to survey 1,000 young adults who grew up in solid, Bible-teaching churches but have left the church either permanently or temporarily. Typical thinking in Christian circles is that young adults leave the church in college due to teachings and culture that challenges their Christian beliefs. Ham and Beemer's findings run contrary to this assumption, and they are shocking and disturbing.
"We've always been trying to prepare our kids for college... but it turns out that only 11 percent of those who have left the Church did so during the college years. Almost 90 percent of them were lost in middle school and high school. By the time they got to college they were already gone! About 40 percent are leaving the Church during elementary and middle school years! Most people assumed that elementary and middle school is a fairly neutral environment where children toe the line and follow in the footsteps of their parents' spirituality. Not so. I believe that over half of these kids were lot before we got them into high school! Whatever diseases are fueling the epidemic of losing our young people, they are infecting our students much, much earlier than most assumed." (31)
From their conclusions, 60% of the children and teens sitting in our chairs and pews each Sunday will disappear in the coming years. In fact, Ham argues that they might be physically sitting there week after week, but they are already gone. Want some statistics that will really keep you up at night?Read more ›
The authors observe that disengagement from church starts at an early age. They fault "well intentioned, firmly established programs and traditions of churches" that are "utterly failing" to teach the Bible as truth. For example, one tradition that has an "overall negative impact on beliefs" is Sunday school. Instead of teaching the Bible as historical fact from an apologetic perspective, most Sunday school classes present the Bible as mere stories with a moral teaching. Even more significant has been the Western Church's abdication of science to the secular evolutionists. Once scripture is questioned on one point, young people become skeptical of its other truth claims.
Ham and Beemer argue that churches must give up "long held cherished notions" about Christian education and focus on apologetics. But while Ham and Beemer correctly diagnose the problem, they fail to adhere to their own premise; follow scripture over tradition. Instead of offering a biblical model for training children, Ham and Beemer's recommendations are limited to shoring up the content of Christian education curriculum.
Despite their admission that Sunday school is ineffective, Ham and Beemer remain unwilling to discard this sacred cow of the American Church for no other reason than too many traditionalists would object.Read more ›
If you believe in the Young Earth position, and you accept that there was a global catastrophic flood, then this is an excellent book. Even if you don't hold those positions, however, Already Gone remains an outstanding read - provided you have any reason to care about our children.
I believe the Bible's instruction that parents are the primary educators of their kids. I believe the purpose of education is not to equip our children with the opportunity to "succeed" in life. Instead, the purpose of education is to teach them (1) the Creation Mandate, and (2) the Redemptive Mandate. The probing surveys described in this book are critical to fulfilling the purpose of educating our kids. The reality is that the results of the surveys described herein are terrifying - and highly motivating - regardless of your specific denominational affiliation.
As their kids' primary educators, I believe every parent must read this book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the book is very informative, but it's more like a collection of data than qualified reviews. still, a good read that i'd recommend for everyonePublished 24 days ago by Sue123
A book that will drive you to your knees in need and stand you up with determination. Dr. John Nordman Th.D. Ph.D.Published 25 days ago by Dr John Nordman ThD, PhD
Lots of statistics to back up the reasons 20 somethings aren't going to church. Good ways to help reach the next generationPublished 3 months ago by Liz
This book was extremely informative about the condition of the church in America. It helped me realize the need for teaching apologetics to even the youngest children in our... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Stacey Tilley
arrived on time. good condition. wasnt what I was thinking it would be. already knew what I was reading about. but someone else may like it :)Published 5 months ago by Adam31953