Quitting Church (book review)

It’s true: people are leaving churches in record numbers. Who is leaving? Why are they leaving? Is there anything churches can do to stem the tide? These are the questions that drove Julia Duin to research and write Quitting Church.

Since I pastor a church, these sorts of questions intrigue me too. Unfortunately, this book left me flat.

The research in this book consists largely of: (a) snippets quoted from other researchers; (b) Julia’s conversations with her friends who have stopped attending church; and (c) Julia’s observations on what “connected” for her at the various churches she has attended. In other words, this book doesn’t present a whole lot of original information. Even the subtitle—why the faithful are fleeing and what to do about it—is misleading, in that I read very little about how to keep the departing from fleeing.

Save your money; take a pass on this book.

One Response to “Quitting Church (book review)”

  1. James Says:

    I purchased and read the book “Quitting Church.” It was well worth the money, it did not leave me flat, and provided thoughtful insights. Here are a just five general areas mentioned in the book worth considering,

    1) Chapter 5 dealt with singles and why singles leave the church. Not only did she interview singles, but also pastors and shared how their behaviour towards singles actually causes singles to leave.

    2) Pastor’s are more concerned with who comes in the front door than who leaves. Pastors do not follow-up and ask why their members are leaving.

    3) Many churches refuse to publish financial reports. The congregation doesn’t know where the money is going.

    4) Many pastors earn more than the average income of their congregation and can afford to send their children to better schools while the congregation can not.

    5) The Christians that are leaving are mature Christians and have attended for many years. They simply are fed up and burned out with the bureaucracy, controlling pastors and endless programs that keep them busy, but go nowhere.


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