Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Who wants to read research data?
Well the good thing I can tell you about this book is that although it is data-driven, it reads well! Barna is great -- I've even seen him live once, and he was very interesting.
On to the book!
This book made me extremely grateful for my church in DC as well as my home church in Michigan.
"God has called you and your faith community to expand his Kingdom in a particular place with unique features and cultural quirks" (10).
In this book, the "unchurched" include people who grew up in church but no longer attend. It also includes skeptics, atheists, and agnostics.
"Unchurched adults are very much like church adults... except they don't attend church" (43).
My favorite chapter was eight: "Disengaged and Dropping Out". This subject is nothing new in my life as I have watched friends walk away from Christianity for a variety of reasons. This is also why I love NCC and appreciate Pastor Mark's messages. He does not shy away from discussing science (a topic that can be a hindrance to others).
"Many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways of staying faithful to both their religious beliefs and their sense of professional calling into a science-related field" (100).
"Single and married-without-children adults have little reason to connect with a church if its resources are funneled toward children's and family ministry" (118).
A suggestion in reaching the unchurched included matching up younger people with older mentors. I cannot tell you how many times I had conversations about this. My generation NEEDS older people in our lives. We are losing out on the art of homecooked meals. There is something amazing that happens when we learn from older generations (and help older generations figure out new technology). I miss that in my life right now since my main community is 20-30 somethings.
This book reminded me of the struggle I went through (even as a church leader) to find my place within the Church. I am thankful for that struggle and how it helps me remain sensitive to others on the journey.
I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review.