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You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith [Kindle Edition]

David Kinnaman

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Close to 60 percent of young people who went to church as teens drop out after high school. Now the bestselling author of unChristian trains his researcher's eye on these young believers. Where Kinnaman's first book unChristian showed the world what outsiders aged 16-29 think of Christianity, You Lost Me shows why younger Christians aged 16-29 are leaving the church and rethinking their faith.

Based on new research, You Lost Me shows pastors, church leaders, and parents how we have failed to equip young people to live "in but not of" the world and how this has serious long-term consequences. More importantly, Kinnaman offers ideas on how to help young people develop and maintain a vibrant faith that they embrace over a lifetime.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1049 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 256 Seiten
  • Verlag: Baker Books (1. Oktober 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  109 Rezensionen
73 von 82 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "You Lost Me" Sparks Ideas To Help A Hurting Generation 14. Oktober 2011
Von Caleb Breakey - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Chances are you know about The Great Departure: Christian youth leaving the church. It's the very reason why I wrote a book to help Millennials follow Jesus without leaving the church: Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church. Anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of professing believers are going to walk away from their faith by their twenties.

Yeah, serious.

So how are parents, pastors and youth workers/mentors supposed to counter this?

David Kinnaman's You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith explores this very question and sparks ideas as to how we can help young people own their faith. He also takes a look at how this generation is "discontinuously different" from all others before it, and why this fact is important to understand.

Below I've listed: 1) key definitions; 2) what to expect inside the book; and 3) a sampling of the nuggets I took away from it.

' Key definitions from Kinnaman:

...Nomads: They walk away from church engagement but still consider themselves Christians.
...Prodigals: They lose their faith, describing themselves as "no longer Christian."
...Exiles: They are still invested in their Christian faith but feel stuck (or lost) between culture and the church.

' Now, what to expect as you crack open You Lost Me:

'PART 1: Dropouts
1--Faith, Interrupted
2--Access, Alienation, Authority
3--Nomads and Prodigals

'PART 2: Disconnections
5--Disconnection, Explained

'PART 3: Reconnections
12--What's Old Is New
13--Fifty Ideas to Find a Generation

Throughout the book, I jotted down notes that really got me thinking about how to effectively help this generation follow Jesus. Here are just a few of the nuggets I took away:

Get young people involved in Scripture reading, praying, worshiping, and giving their testimonies; let them join the dialogue at church; lead them in visiting the sick and shut-ins; be a mentor to a young person at church; connect spiritual wisdom with real world knowledge; don't ignore science; show them how to live "in but not of" lives; and teach them how to think well, not what to think.

If you haven't already, I'd also suggest picking up Kinnaman's book Unchristian. Another great read along these same lines is Gabe Lyons' The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America. All of them are excellent resources in our ongoing battle of raising young men and women to love God and others.
41 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Why Mosaics Drop Out of Church, and What the Church Needs to Do Differently in Response 24. Oktober 2011
Von George P. Wood - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"The ages eighteen to twenty-nine are the black hole of church attendance," writes David Kinnaman. Most church leaders and Christian parents know this. And most believe that the "next generation" will return to church once they've married and had kids. There's some truth to this belief. Church involvement among Boomers and Busters followed predictable patterns, with participation in childhood and adulthood sandwiching non-participation in young adulthood. And yet, this generation--referred to as Mosaics--may very well be different than preceding generations. The goal of You Lost Me is to "define the dropout problem [of Mosaics] and interpret its urgency." No church leader or Christian parent can read Kinnaman's research and remain complacent about the absence of Mosaics. It is an urgent problem requiring thoughtful solutions.

The culture in which Mosaics have grown up is "discontinuously different" from the culture of preceding generations. "The next generation is living in a new technological, social, and spirituality reality," Kinnaman argues; "this reality can be summed up in three words: access, alienation, and authority." Access refers to "the changing means and methods of communicating and finding information." Alienation refers to the "very high levels of isolation from family, community, and institutions" experienced by Mosaics. And authority refers to "[t]he changing spiritual narrative" told by the culture, leaving Mosaics asking "new questions about what to believe and why." Mosaics have more information, fewer role models, and more questions about what constitutes truth than preceding generations. These social realities "have deeply affected the cognitive and emotional process of `encoding' faith" in the next generation.

But though subject to the same social realities, not all Mosaic dropouts have dropped out in the same way. Kinnaman reminds readers that "every story matters," but the stories themselves take one of three narrative forms. For nomads, "faith is nomadic, seasonal, or may appear to be an optional or peripheral part of life." Prodigals are "young people who leave their childhood or teen faith entirely." Exiles are "those who grew up in the church and are now physically or emotionally disconnected in some way, but who also remain energized to pursue God-honoring lives." Notice that nomads and exiles continue to identify themselves, in varying degrees, as Christians. Only prodigals are hard dropouts, that is, deconverts from Christianity, and they make up a small share of all dropouts. Given these distinctions, Kinnaman concludes: "The dropout phenomenon is most accurately described as a generation of Christians who are disengaging from institutional forms of church."

Why they are disengaging, and what to do in response, take up the bulk of the book. Based on extensive surveys of Mosaics, both quantitative and qualitative, Kinnaman offers "six reasons" why the next generation is disengaging from church.

1. Overprotective: "The church is seen as a creativity killer where risk taking and being involved in culture are anathema."
2. Shallow: "Easy platitudes, proof texting, and formulaic slogans have anesthetized many young adults."
3. Antiscience: "Many young Christians have come to the conclusion that faith and science are incompatible."
4. Repressive: "Religious rules--particularly sexual mores--feel stifling to the individualist mindset of young adults."
5. Exclusive: "Although there are limits to what this generation will accept and whom they will embrace, they have been shaped by a culture that esteems open-mindedness, tolerance, and acceptance. Thus Christianity's claims to exclusivity are a hard sell."
6. Doubtless: "the church is not a place that allows them to express doubts."

Church leaders and Christian parents need to read this section of the book non-defensively. Many dropouts exhibit a keen interest in spirituality generally and Jesus Christ particularly. But they don't like the church--the church that their leaders and parents have worked hard to build. When they say, "You lost me," they are pointing fingers. At least that's how leaders and parents might feel. Moreover, they might have strong disagreement with Mosaic ethics, particularly with regard to sexual behavior--as well they should. Rather than reading defensively, however, church leaders and Christian parents should read these chapters to learn the unique social forces that are shaping (and in some cases misshaping) the next generation.

By reading non-defensively, leaders and parents may also see new, biblically faithful ways of being Christian in community that have been neglected by their generation of Christians. On this issue, Kinnaman does not merely describe the dropout problem, he prescribes potential ways of moving forward. The penultimate chapter of the book outlines three things Kinnaman has learned from his research: "(1) the church needs to reconsider how we make disciples; (2) we need to rediscover Christian calling and vocation; and (3) we need to reprioritize wisdom over information as we seek to know God." The final chapter surveys Christian leaders--both inside and outside of church ministry--and offers "50 Ideas to Find a Generation."

I highly recommend You Lost Me to church leaders and Christian parents who are concerned about "the black hole" in their churches. It will help them understand how their Mosaics think, why they are disengaged from church, and what might be done to hand on the faith to a new generation.
22 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen let's get the conversation started 20. September 2011
Von Cook - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
David Kinnaman has done it again. With great skill and concern for the Body of Christ, David helps everyone understand that a new generation of Christians is not intentionally belligerant, angry, fed up... etc. but that the young Christians today have questions. Good questions. Theological questions. Questions that must be answered and not simply brushed aside by the Church. He has identified the young Christians as either Nomads, Exiles or Prodigals - with each group at various stages of the questioning/leving process. But regardless of the path or stage, they have one thing in common: these young Christians do care about faith and God... they are simply looking for answers - and want to be part of the solution as well.

Use this book to start the conversations in your faith community... we cannot afford to lose 60% of young Christians, when all we need to do is hear them and listen to them... and engage in conversation.

Thank you David for yet another compassionate yet clear call for the Church to engage in loving action.
11 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Serious but Hopeful Look at the "Dropout Problem" 27. Dezember 2011
Von Aaron Armstrong - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
For quite a while now, people have been talking about the "dropout problem"--the grim reality that young professing Christians are leaving their faith behind in droves. Some catastrophize the issue and proclaim it the death of Christianity in America. Others minimize it, shrugging it off and retorting, "They'll be back when they settle down and have kids."

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Research Group and author of You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith, doesn't believe the problem is so simple. Through his research and analysis of the Mosaic (or Millennial) generation, Kinnaman shows that the problem far more serious than some think--but far more hopeful than we might expect.

You Lost Me, like many books on the Mosaics, is quick to point out an important reality: every story matters. It is exceptionally easy to make sweeping judgments about this generation (even in acknowledging its peculiar "Let's change the world--look at me!" ideology), so much so that it becomes easy to overlook the reality that these are the experiences of real people. And the experience they share, both in the testimonies peppered throughout the book as well as in the research itself, is troubling.

You Lost Me`s greatest strength is Kinnaman's assessment of the real reason behind the dropout problem--it's a discipleship issue. "The church is not adequately preparing the next generation to follow Christ faithfully in a rapidly changing culture," he explains (p. 21). This bears itself out as he details the frustrations of the Mosaics participating in the study, who find that the church is:

Overprotective--they see the church "as a creativity killer where risk taking and being involved in culture are anathema" (p. 92).

Shallow--having been fed a steady diet of "easy platitudes, proof texting and formulaic slogans," they don't see how their faith connects to every facet of life and how their passions, gifts and abilities can be used for God's glory.
Antiscience--they see faith and science are incompatible, even finding that "science appears to welcome questions and skepticism, while matters of faith seem impenetrable" (p. 93).

Repressive--"Religious rules--particularly sexual mores--feel stifling to the individualist mindset of young adults," Kinnaman writes. "Consequently they perceive the church as repressive."

Exclusive--Christianity's claim to exclusivity is a hard sell, simply because of how this generation has been shaped by "a culture that esteems open-mindedness, tolerance, and acceptance."

Doubtless--they don't believe the church is a safe place to express doubts or admit that their faith doesn't always make sense. "[M]any feel that the church's response to doubt is trivial and fact focused, as if people can be talked out of doubting."

These areas of disconnection have direct implications for making disciples. Shallow platitudes don't build a robust faith, nor does cultural withdrawal assist in connecting with those outside the Christian community. An antiscientific mindset doesn't help those who are genuinely interested in the sciences feel like they "belong" in the faith. An environment where genuine questions aren't welcome doesn't allow us to "have mercy on those who doubt" (Jude 22).

Reading the overviews and the in-depth analysis featured throughout the chapters devoted to each issue, I often found myself agreeing with a hearty "yes and amen." But I also found myself carefully examining the experiences depicted and asking, "How much of this is a genuine problem of the church and how much is a problem with the person's actions and attitudes?" This again points to the diagnosis that there is a disciple-making problem at the heart of the dropout problem.

For some, it's because they legitimately haven't been equipped--so those who believe the sexual mores of biblical Christianity are repressive should read the Puritans to completely shatter that image. But "repressive" or "exclusive" can often be used as excuses for "presumptuous sins" (Psalm 19:13)--you know something is wrong, you know it's bad for you, but you're going to do it anyway.

While some might struggle with the widely ecumenical view of Christianity displayed, perhaps the weakest element of You Lost Me is its lack of gospel application particularly in terms of the questions being asked (at least as far as what was shown in the book was concerned). I can't help but wonder what the results might have been had the surveys included a question such as "What is the gospel?" My suspicion is that it would only have further illustrated the gaping hole in our discipleship methodology, but it might have also been an opportunity to drive home the reality that the gospel is not something that you accept once and move on, but something you delve deeper into. The only place I recall this playing out at all is in all too fleeting mentions in the final chapter of the book, "Fifty Ideas to Find a Generation" (which carries on the ecumenism displayed by including voices from all across the spectrum such as Francis Chan, Britt Merrick, Drew Dyck--whose quote is perhaps the best in the entire chapter--Shane Claiborne and Rachel Held Evans).

Despite this weakness, You Lost Me is an extremely helpful and revealing look at what is causing young Christians to leave the Church, one that I hope will serva as a wake-up call to those who have become complacent and an encouragement to those who are pressing on in the hard work of making disciples. Read it carefully, give it due consideration and allow Kinnaman's findings to help address any changes that might need to be made.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen You Lost Me, Helped me Understand 19. März 2013
Von Robert L. Foster - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
David Kinnaman seeks to understand the dropout rate between the teen years and the twenties we are observing in the church today. Barna research shows this dropout rate exceeding forty percent of the church population, so for every 100 teens that grow up in the church about 43 of them are disappearing from the church in their twenties. These numbers are scary for those who are interested in discipleship, have worked hard to disciple teens, or even for those who have an interest in the future of the church.

Kinnaman wants to understand the reasons and suggest a way that the church might help these sojourners. Kinnaman's thesis: "You Lost Me seeks to explain the next generation's cultural context and examine the question How can we follow Jesus--and help young people faithfully follow Jesus--in a dramatically changing culture?" (12).

Kinnaman says the next generation's culture is defined by three issues: Access, Alienation, and Authority.

Access refers to unlimited relationship of today's culture. Technology has literally put the world of information at your fingertips. All of this access gives one the idea that they know everything or can in a few seconds. However, it has left them with very little appreciation for discernment or wisdom.

Alienation refers to the isolation this generation feels based on their lack of relationship with the traditional systems which have aided in self-identity: Family, Adulthood, and Institutions. Families have become so "blended" that they do not have a core identity or loyalty. You truly are on your own. Traditional rites of passage to adulthood have been diminished or abandoned. This culture has drawn adolescence out into their thirties. Even pregnancy does not push them into adulthood. They merely hand the child over to their parents to raise and treat the child as a sibling.

Finally, authority refers to the change in culture in which the authorities of Scripture, Church, and Christians are all viewed with skepticism.

Kinnaman also grouped the participants of his survey in to four distinct groups: Nomads, Prodigals, Exiles, and Faithful. "...[T]he spiritual nomad, the wanderer. For these young adults, faith is nomadic, seasonal, or may appear to be an optional or peripheral part of life" (63). The nomad has not altogether abandoned their faith, just stepped away from it for a season.

The prodigal group includes both "those who deconvert (including atheists, agnostics, and `nones,' those who say they have no religious affiliation) and those who switch to another faith" (66). These young men and women no longer consider themselves Christian in any way.

Exiles are those who describe themselves as Christian but no longer feel accepted inthe church nor do they feel comfortable in the culture (75). They are exiled.

Kinnaman also affirms through the book that a segment of this population remain faithful though out their twenties.

Kinnaman then spent the bulk of the book (six of eleven chapters) discussing the primary reasons that Nomads, Exiles, and Prodigals have expressed as their reasons for dropping out of the church. He calls these "Disconnections."

Overprotective: Mosaics value creativity and change, the church generally does not and in fact usually is overprotective of its traditions.

Shallow: Church seems boring and lacking in depth.

Antiscience: The church has set science on one side of the fence and faith on the other. Most mosaics understand science, it works. Science also invites skepticism which Mosaics love (and the Church hates).

Repressive: The church refuses to discuss most sexual issues while mosaics and the culture openly discuss these matters.

Exclusive: Tolerance is the cardinal virtue of the mosaic world.

Doubtless: The church is not a safe place to express doubt or question when faith does not seem to work.

Kinnaman is not just trying to tell the church it has failed, rather he is working to help the church reconnect to what could easily become a lost generation. He calls his responses "Reconnections." "...(1) the church needs to reconsider how we make disciples; (2) we need to rediscover Christian calling and vocation; and (3) we need to reprioritize wisdom over information as we seek to know God" (201).

Kinnaman has demonstrated his thesis well. I want to continue to think about these issues some more, maybe with some of my students. As an assistant professor at a Baptist college, most of my students are a part of the mosaic generation and many of them fall into these categories of Nomad, Exile, or Prodigal. To be honest, as I was reading the book, I could hear myself vocalizing some of the same complains as some of the students interviewed in the book. And I can see myself guilty of disconnecting from this generation at other times.

Kinnaman does an excellent job of clarifying the problem and suggesting some answers to our current dropout situation. If you know a nomad, exile, or prodigal this book might help you reconnect to them and maybe through you, them to the church.

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