Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why the Faithful are Fleeing Church: A Forthcoming Book

Here is a brief review from Publisher's Weekly of a book that will come out in September. Though she is not clergy, Julia Duin is an insightful observer and the book should have some thought-provoking material in it for us to consider. CAVEAT --we have not seen the manuscript--only this review from PW.

Quitting Church: Why the Faithful Are Fleeing and What to Do About It

Julia Duin. Baker, $17.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8010-6823-2

Duin brings two kinds of experiences to bear in this engaging little jeremiad: as religion editor for the Washington Times, she is in her element marshaling statistics, interviewing authors and clergy, and commenting on the trend of faithful evangelicals who increasingly vote with their feet by leaving their churches.

But she's also a self-described born-again evangelical herself, coping with the personal pain of not having a viable and permanent church home.

Drawing heavily on research by pollster George Barna, Duin diagnoses a widespread dissatisfaction among evangelicals, who feel their churches do a decent job with new Christians but fall far short with mature believers. In particular, Duin shows, women and singles are leaving churches in ever-greater numbers. (As a single woman herself, she discusses her own experiences with being marginalized while successfully evoking a larger context through research and polls.)

Duin has some prescriptions to help with these problems, including meatier sermons that address real issues; house churches and micro-churches that foster more genuine community; and even in-church matchmaking services to help singles who want to find a mate. (Sept.)


Blogger DVZ said...

Certainly sounds timely; thanks for the review.

1:59 PM  
Blogger danny2 said...

if they are fleeing church (all together) should we call them faithful?

i can certainly understand if it was "why the faithful are fleeing your church" and addressed issues of unfaithfulness to the Word within a congregation's leadership than can lead to the departure of others...

however, if a person decides they no longer care for the Bride, do they really care that much about the Groom?

10:09 AM  
Blogger Zach Doppelt said...

"meatier sermons that address real issues..."

An observation: One thing I am finding in ministry is a shift in definition. When churchgoers used to use the word meat, they defined meat as exposition. Now, meat tends to mean life application. How we address this is another issue, but it is important to understand how folks define their terms...

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This book and others like it should be called, "Why the Faithful are Fleeing the Church services or programs." Do we really need another definition of what the church really is?

10:16 PM  

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