Churchless: Understanding Today's Unchurched and How to Connect with Them - eBook
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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Tyndale Momentum
Publication Date: 2014
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StarlaSpringfield, MOAge: 25-34Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Great Resource for Church LeadersMarch 15, 2017StarlaSpringfield, MOAge: 25-34Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5After graduating from college in 2012, I entered into a pastoral staff position at a local church. After a few weeks of sitting in the Sunday morning worship services, I suddenly realized that I had zero interest in inviting my unchurched friends to visit. It's not that our church or worship gatherings were bad, per se, but rather that I knew we were missing the felt needs of unchurched people in our community. Over the past five years, the disconnect between my experience on Sunday mornings and my interactions with unchurched friends seems to be ever-growing. It's clear to me that our Americanized ways of "doing church" are simply no longer cutting it as we try to engage those both near and far from Christ in the world around us. In Churchless: Understanding Today's Unchurched and How to Connect with Them, George Barna and David Kinnaman help churchgoers make sense of why we're unable to reach our neighbors.
In fourteen quick and simple chapters, Barna and Kinnaman explore the qualities that make churched and unchurched people both similar and distinct. The authors affirm most peoples' experiential knowledge like "the younger the generation, the more post-Christian it is" (17) and provide statistical analysis to prove their claim, yet they also insert new ideas that churched peoples can easily skip over, like the facts that churchless people are more willing to participate with a local church in community service than in a worship service and that single adults constitute one of the largest demographics of churchless people. To conclude the book, Barna and Kinnaman commit the final chapter to presenting some practical steps local churches can make to better reach churchless people in their communities.
Overall, I really enjoyed this work from the Barna Group. I underlined a ton, wrote lengthy notes in the margins, and have brought the information into many conversations with friends. As a person looking into church planting, Churchless has become an invaluable resource material aiding my research. Not only was Barna and Kinnaman's research informational, it has also been spiritually formative for me as I have prayed while reading and feel even more convicted and compelled to reach beyond the four walls of my local church. After reading just the first chapter, I wrote:
"I'm more convinced with this chapter that our churches will be more influential and transformative when they:
1) actively invest in the development and healing of their local communities,
2) prioritize deep, meaningful, and thriving relationships as the center and heartbeat of their communities of faith, and
3) critically engage what it means to follow Christ holistically."
I think that sums up my experience with the book pretty well.
My only somewhat negative critique is that the latter half of the book starts to feel fairly redundant. Regardless, the quality of the content and clear presentation through infographics make this a book that every pastor and church leader will benefit from reading thoroughly.
* A special thanks to Tyndale for providing a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
danniAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Good informationFebruary 9, 2015danniAge: 25-34Gender: femaleI was extremely excited to read this book. Since being introduced to the Barna Group in college, I have always been fascinated with their work. The Barna Group has been conducting research on spiritual opinions and habits of Americans for the last thirty years in an effort to understand the reasons and motivations of churchgoers and non-churchgoers. In Churchless, they more specifically take a look at the departure that Americans have taken from attending churches over the last several decades.
Of course, the book is flooded with survey results and statistics. This is expected considering the Barna Group is a research company. The plethora of information is informative, eye-opening, and powerful. Through their research, they objectively analyze the downward trends of churchlessness and bible illiteracy in the United States. The study compiled five years of surveys conducted to 20,000 unchurched and churched adults. Specific topics they discuss based on their statistics include the following:
Thoughts of the unchurched about religion
Paradox of trusting Christ but not the church
Family life within the unchurched
Values and goals of the unchurched
The authors discovered that American fall into one of four categories as it relates to their relationship with the church:
Actively Churched = those who attend church on a regular basis (once a month or more)
Minimally Churched = those who attend church services several times a year but attendance patterns are unpredictable
De-Churched = those who have been churched in the past but are now taking a break from the church
Purely Unchurched = those who never attend church
The authors do not give practical solutions to the alarming results of their study. Rather, they provide basic ideas from their research that the unchurched are more likely to respond to. I believe the authors intent was geared towards providing an awareness of the current trend rather than developing a strategic solution to the overall issue. This can be seen throughout the book as they emphasize church attendance over the act of evangelism.
They do conclude with a Forward Thinking section that dares one to think critically about how the church can be salt and light in a culture that is increasingly unreceptive to church and religion.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Scott Isley - High Impact Ministries5 Stars Out Of 5Churchless - ExcellentJanuary 8, 2015Scott Isley - High Impact MinistriesQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Excellent information on today's unchurched. A little lite on connecting with them. Gives more info on what not to do than on what ways work and how to connect with the unchurched. There were no bullet lists on the how tos which would be helpful to many churches.
HOWEVER, overall I think this is an excellent resource on many levels. I highly recommend this book and have encouraged the leaders in our church outreach training ministry to read it, study it and use the information when training people to reach out.
Gail5 Stars Out Of 5Review of ChurchlessDecember 17, 2014GailQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Statistics are fascinating to me, so I was excited to have the opportunity to read Barna Groups book Churchless. Barna and Kinnaman do a good job in explaining the various groups of people they surveyed and the results. The book is laid out in such a way that you can review the charts and then read the dialog that explains it in more detail. Churchless presents to readers an analysis of its research, providing information relevant to better connect with those not involved in the American church. The data presented provides the reader with an opportunity to learn about those who are "unchurched" and "de-churched" (and what the difference is). The book offers questions to review the findings and reflect; allowing the reader to think and reflect about the information they read.
I would recommend this book to those who are interested in a snapshot on Americas population and how the population looks at the church. Depending on the readers background the results will either surprise you or confirm for you what is happening within the American church. If you work in ministry it provides insight that could prove helpful in reaching your community. The tools that have worked in the past are not working now, the book helps explain why and insights on what may be more effective. The reader is also shown how those who are in church and not in church answer the same questions regarding lifestyle. As someone who grew up in the church culture, it was helpful to me to get a glimpse into how people think through the data. It is eye opening to see how things have changed and how people answered the questions presented. I finished the book challenged to be intentional in how I connect with people, asking myself the question Am I showing love as Jesus showed love.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishing in exchange for my opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commisions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
Dr JSKAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Book Review, "Churchless"December 16, 2014Dr JSKAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Churchless: Understanding Today's Unchurched And How To Connect With Them, written by George Barna and David Kinnaman, published by Tyndale Momentum, is a publication seeking to guide its readers into understanding that reaching the lost is not only a necessity, it is also a possibility.
Barna and Kinnaman want their readers to understand that there is an increasing number of people who do not attend church. Many of them want to have an encounter with God, but they are not finding a fulfillment to this desire in the local church.
In this publication, Churchless, Barna and Kinnaman provide important statistical information gathered from men and women that provide a picture and/or a road map to understanding why people don't feel the need to attend church. It also provides a plan of action to help these people understand why they should be attending church.
This publication is filled with a plethora of useful information, thus it is a recommended purchase.
Dr. Jeff Krupinski
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