Synopses & Reviews
Several recent studies reveal that churches across America are hemorrhaging--they are losing members at a life-threatening rate. Intrigued and disturbed by what appears to be an epidemic, Julia Duin, a religion reporter for the Washington Times, amassed research on the issue, interviewed many who have left church, and attended numerous churches in hopes of making sense of this phenomenon. Quitting Church reveals the startling findings of her research. It explains to church leaders why this mass exodus is happening--and what can be done to reverse it. Beginning with the cold, hard facts, Duin then takes readers through a number of issues that influence a person's decision to leave the church, including irrelevancy, hidden suffering, family-centric programming that leaves singles out, impersonal or bland worship services, a lack of biblical literacy, and much more. This eye-opening book will be essential reading for pastors, ministry leaders, and churchgoers who wish to bring these disenchanted Christians back into their midst.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Quitting Church" explains to church leaders why churches are losing members at an alarming rate--and what can be done to reverse the trend.