Done with Church, but Not with God

Holy Soup

They’re done. Done with the institutional church. They are millions strong. And millions more are about to join them.

The Dones, as I refer to them, include some of the established church’s previously most active members, best givers, and most mature believers. Their exodus presents one of the most perplexing challenges for the church as we know it.

In their new book, sociologists Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope compare the Dones to refugees. They write, “Refugees are people who’ve been forced from their homes–for fear of persecution. That describes the dechurched. If they stayed, they would risk further estrangement from their spiritual selves, from God, and from a religion they still believe in.”

That’s what’s interesting about the Dones. They’re not running away from God. Many of them say they’re now running better toward God. So, why is that? What is driving them away from the institutional church? The sociologists discovered several recurring themes…

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