The Rise of the Dones

Interesting comment. And I’m sure most church members know someone who ‘used to belong’. Not that they all made conscious decisions that they’d had enough. I think many just ‘fade away’ because of circumstances, or a vague feeling of not ‘finding their place’… Or a hundred other reasons. I think we sometimes lose people just through carelessness, through not paying attention, through being too focussed on our own needs and not being aware of what’s happening in people’s lives. It certainly wouldn’t hurt us to ask the questions this blog suggests…

Holy Soup

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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