This is a wonderfully reflective and inspiring book about the growing number of churchless people in North America. It is a book that will open the mind of those who are churched and will encourage them to actually live in such a way that will inspire others to come back to church.
What causes people to stay away from church? What makes them feel welcomed and willing to engage? Our world is changing and so are the answers to these questions. Until we understand these reasons, how can we help the unchurched return to the church?
The churchless have always felt estranged from the churched individuals. They feel like they are lost and like outsiders by the churched. But why is this? Well the authors have done a lot of research through the Barna Group into this question and they have written a book that will help the churched realize how the churchless feel.
In my work as a minister of Hospitality at my local church, I see first-hand what some of the reasons may be that the churchless don’t want to go to church. There is so much lack of connection between the parishioners and there is a hypocriticalness that is hard to ignore. Many of the churched come to church simply to fulfill an obligation. Many of them don’t have a relationship with God.
Also, what is really absent in the church today is a sense of God. It seems like he is absent somehow, yet that is precisely why the churched want to go to church. This got me thinking long and hard about the authenticity of Christians. What are our motives in church, and why do we insist on going to church if our reasons for going are more out of obligation and meeting our friends in the pews that it is to connect with God and develop a closer relationship with him?
But what is more, how can we bring the churchless into the church if we lack authenticity ourselves? It would seem that we would have to fix our reasons for going to church first, and then reach out to the churchless and bring them into a place that will help them flourish and be the best that they can be. But until we really connect with God and become authentic Christians, we have no hope of inspiring anyone else either.
This book has made me rethink why people go to church and why I do if even praying in church becomes hard because of all the noise that is in church before, after and during mass.
Thank you David Kinnaman and George Barna for making me think through some of these difficult issues. I will be writing about the authenticity of Christians very soon and will be in touch.
I received this book compliments of Tyndale Publishers Ltd.
Rating: 5+ Stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth