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You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith Hardcover – October 1, 2011
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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.|David Kinnaman is coauthor of the bestselling unChristian. He is president and majority owner of the Barna Group, a private, non-partisan research and resource company located in Ventura, California. In Kinnaman's sixteen years at the firm, he has supervised more than 350,000 interviews for client projects and nationwide studies among American adults, teenagers, tweens, and clergy on matters of faith, spirituality, political attitudes, and social dynamics. Barna Group's body of research is often quoted in major media outlets and from pulpits. David frequently speaks on topics of cultural change, young adults, teenagers, vocation and calling, leadership, and generations. He and Jill, his wife, have three children and live in California.
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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:
Kenda Creasy Dean
And many more
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Top Customer Reviews
I sincerely appreciate the research and the passion that is often evident in Kinnaman's book. Frankly, I'm just totally frustrated.
It is well known by now among church youth workers that 60 - 80 percent of youth will separate from their church in some form or fashion by the time they reach their 20's.
Prodigals are the group of youth that leave the faith altogether. Nomads are the group that still see themselves as followers of Christ and yet do not belong to an organized church. For Nomads their spirituality is best captured by the word "wanderer". They may occasionally attend church, but they may also attend the services of other religions altogether. Finally, exiles are the group of youth that feel caught between the church and the world. They are physically or emotionally disconnected from the church. They feel a sense of disconnect between what they were taught in church and how they desire to express their faith in the real world.
Kinnaman examines the reasons why each of these groups left the church using concrete examples and statistics. As in the book unChristian, the research is based solely upon surveys collected by the Barna Research Group [...]. If I could criticize the book's methodology in some way it would be here. It would have been helpful to compare their data to other historical data. As a sociological study, I think its usefulness is limited. The main benefit as I see it is to call attention to the problem not just for youth workers, but also for any and all church leadership and especially parents.
In part one of the book, Kinnaman details the dropouts themselves. Part two deals with the reasons for each group's disconnection from church and part three details ways that we can help reach out to each group and some changes that we should consider.
The tension in this book is palpable in that Kinnaman pretty soundly criticizes the modern church for its refusal to adjust to new cultural realities. He does say that our essential approach to youth ministry is flawed. While he affirms doctrine in a general sense, he does not advocate any particular protestant denomination nor even Roman Catholicism. He just simply says that while doctrine does matter and should not be jettisoned, at the same time, the church needs to adjust its attitude and in some cases its approach to ministering to the younger generation.
The most valuable chapter in the book in my opinion is the final one. He lists 50 suggestions from different Christian celebrities and church goers. It gave a book a practical side. He doesn't advocate any particular idea among the 50, but just presents it to the reader for their consideration. (For additional suggestions or to add your own see [...].
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone in the church. We do need to do some serious reflection in this area. While we may not agree with some of Kinnaman's conclusions, we should at least hear him out and then prayerfully take action. What we ought not to do in my opinion is just read the book and bury our heads in the sand as it were. The problem is definitely there, and we would do well to take it seriously.