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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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Top Customer Reviews
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
Our churches are graying much too fast. Turn around and look to either side and you will see the evidence . Read morePublished 12 days ago by Gary Gardner
It is a great book. I have shared 5 copies with other people.Published 18 days ago by Philip Wergeland
Great book, helps to understand the why along with the what is going on with our youth. Should be read by all who work with young people.Published 1 month ago by David Barnes
Powerful insights. As a youth worker I have really gained a lot of understanding and perspective. It really does matter how you serve. At any age.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent. Illustrates the failure of the modern church to teach the truth of scripture.Published 2 months ago by Nevadachuck
I'm doubtful of some of the statistics in this book. Knowing Ken Ham, it seems all too convenient and predictable that his pet issue of creation and the flood not being taught... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 3 months ago by Sue123