If you have been thinking about the diminishing group of familiar faces in your congregation… wondering where they have been.. and upon reaching out as a lay leader (like myself) and having a cup of tea with them, a person learns that these corner-stone congregants are just not planning on ever stepping foot in the church again ..
Well then … This is the article for you. Dones – Gone-zo – Outta Here members. The increasingly most pressing issue of our time as Christian congregations. The Dones. by utor Thom Schultz
John is every pastor’s dream member. He’s a life-long believer, well-studied in the Bible, gives generously, and leads others passionately.
But last year he dropped out of church. He didn’t switch to the other church down the road. He dropped out completely. His departure wasn’t the result of an ugly encounter with a staff person or another member. It wasn’t triggered by any single event.
John had come to a long-considered, thoughtful decision. He said, “I’m just done. I’m done with church.”
John is one in a growing multitude of ex-members. They’re sometimes called the de-churched. They have not abandoned their faith. They have not joined the also-growing legion of those with no religious affiliation–often called the Nones. Rather, John has joined the Dones.
At Group’s recent Future of the Church conference, sociologist Josh Packard shared some of his groundbreaking research on the Dones. He explained these de-churched were among…
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