Wednesday, February 29, 2012

notes + quotes from You Lost Me. (Book Review)


You Lost Me. Why Young Christians are Leaving the Church... and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman

valuable quotes and statistics from Kinnaman's book on why young people are leaving the church. This book gives great insight as to how the church can adapt in order to reach a generation that is currently disconnected from the church community.

[spoiler alert]

Millions of young adults (MOSAICS age 18-29) leave active involvement in church as they exit their teen years. some never return, while others live indefinitely at the margins of the faith community, attempting to define their own spirituality. (pg. 19)

Millions of young Christians describe Christianity as hypocritical, judgmental, too political, and out of touch with reality. (20)

The dropout problem is a disciple-making problem. the church is not adequately preparing the next generation to follow Christ faithfully in a rapidly changing culture. (21)

61% of young people with Christian background have “dropped out of attending church after going regularly.”
41% have struggled with significant doubt.
35% have rejected their parents faith. (24)
(these averages are among Protestants)

“I’ve never lost faith in Christ but i have lost faith in the church.” ~ Kelly, a young adult ‘Nomad’

FACT: young Christians perceive and interpret reality through screens. (43)

NEW REALITY: young people expect to participate as well as consume.
young people desire to stay connected at all times.
young people do not have a network of older adults to help them succeed.

Young need access, feel alienated and are not interested in the authority structures of that animate Christianity.

Mosaics are tech savvy but not necessarily truth savvy.

Young people are interested in spirituality, but on their own terms.

Young people feel it is more important to be fair and loyal to their peers than to be loyal to the institution.

The Christian community needs to consider our allegiance to these authorities; we must be honest enough with ourselves to determine where our allegiance is merely cultural rather than biblical. We need a new mind in our approach to faith formation in the changing spiritual narrative. (56)


still describe themselves as Christian.
believe that personal involvement in church is optional.
importance of faith has faded.
angry and/or hostile towards church.
spiritual experimentalists. (65)

Christian beliefs don’t make sense.
Spiritual needs not met.

want their faith to matter.
want to follow Jesus AND connect with world they live in.
skeptical of institutions but not wholly disengaged with them.
see God moving outside walls of church (and they want to be a part of that movement).
not disillusioned with tradition; they are frustrated with slick, shallow expressions of religion.
faith isn’t instructive to their calling or gifts.
struggle when Christians question their motives.

“A film isn’t Christian just because it has inserted the gospel message in there somehow. A film can point to Christ when it honestly portrays our human condition and invites us to experience something about redemption that each of us needs.” ~Justin

How modern exiles compare to the Bible: SAME SONG, DIFFERENT MILLENNIUM (87-88)
The challenge for the Christian community is how to respond to the growing number of exiles. Will we do what we can to equip them to make the choices that faced Daniel in Babylon -- choices about balancing cultural accommodation and faithful, Christ-centered living? Will we listen to and take to heart their faithful prophetic critiques of the church’s posture toward our increasingly pluralistic society? Will we change our structures, guided by unchanging truths of Scripture, to nurture their gifts and unique calling into a world deeply loved by, yet in many ways hostile to, God?

they find the church to be:
OVERPROTECTIVE - they want to reimagine, recreate, rethink and they want to be entrepreneurs, innovators, starters. To mosaics, creative expression is of inestimable value.
SHALLOW - the most common perception: church is boring. Also, the Christianity they received does not give them a sense of calling.
EXCLUSIVE - Christianity’s claims to exclusivity are a hard sell. (mosaics want to find areas of common ground...)
DOUBTLESS - don’t feel like church is the place to express doubts. do not feel safe admitting that faith doesn’t always make sense.

Young Christians - it’s your turn to listen.
Well established Christians - it’s time to trust in a deeper way of God working within the next generation.

Mosaic frustration:
Christians demonize everything outside of the church.

Christians are afraid of pop culture (especially movies + music)

Christians maintain a false separation of sacred and secular. (research shows that this generation does not see a divide between the sacred and secular, at least not in the same way their parents do.)

Christians do not want to deal with the complexity or reality of the world. (church = to rigid, unreal + not able to comprehend the world as it really is) (97-98)

Many mosaics grew up in a risk-free Christianity which led them AWAY from God/Church.

Perception of Church: fear based to get you to do something as opposed to giving you logical reasons why you should or shouldn’t do something.

help young people understand fundamental brokenness in humans and an adversary who intends to derail mankind in every possible way.
no fear of ‘secular’ culture/media, etc. let’s watch, listen and read together and do ‘cultural exegesis’ asa faithful community.
guide young people to trust God fearlessly and follow Christ in the power of the Spirit - even at the RISK of their lives, reputations, and worldly success.

Matthew 16:25
24-26Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

Current Church seems shallow - with a faith that is a mile wide but an inch deep.
Don’t just convey INFORMATION about God - DISCIPLE young believers to live wholly, deeply in the reality of God. (115)

Mosaics desire humility.

Christian communities of all kinds must find ways to include teens and young adults in the spiritual life of the church, rather than relegating them to the game room. We need a new mind for facilitating meaning filled rites of passage. How might young people be involved in Scripture reading, praying, leading worship, giving testimony, or providing a short teaching to the congregation?

Responsibility outside of worship, too: serving, mentoring, discipling, etc.

Churches expect too little of its young people.

Don;t focus on the numbers - focus on discipling like Jesus discipled.
Make disciples. (Matt. 28:19)
Committed people make disciples.

MOSAIC FRUSTRATION: Christians are too confident that they know all the answers. (137)
Christians are not accepting of gay and lesbians
Christians are afraid of the beliefs of other faiths
Church ignores problems of real world
mosaics don’t feel accepted by church people.

The next generation needs workable, biblical, grace filled ways to relate with people who are not believers.


The church is a partnership of generations fulfilling God’s purpose in their time.
(more interaction between cross generations / build inter-generational relationships)

Mentors needed to help young people with wisdom. (204)

God-centered relationships create faithful, mature disciples.

Christians have no idea that their faith connects to their life’s work.

We need new ways of measuring success. If you are in church ministry, one metric of success might be to help young people make one or two relational connections, younger or older, that lead to significant mentoring bonds that will last for several years. (208)

Jesus was in close contact with his disciples that he was able to shape the rough edges of their faith + ministry.

We have done everything humanly possible to make the church as "easy" as possible. We kept the services short and entertaining, discipleship and evangelism optional, and moral standards low. Our motives were not bad. We figured we could attract more people by offering Jesus with minimal commitment. But we ended up producing nominal Christians whose unchanged lives have deterred others from being interested.

There is a new generation rising up. Young adults are studying the Bible without missing the obvious. They see how shallow methodology is incongruent with the Jesus of Scripture who asked everything of his followers. They are bored with Sunday morning productions and long to experience the Holy Spirit. They need to be challenged with the awesome responsibility of praying for, baptizing, and making disciples of their acquaintances. They need to be reminded of the Spirit who supernaturally empowers them for this task.

The days of merely bringing our friends to an event so the pastor can save and disciple them need to end. New churches must be formed where all believers are expected to do the work of evangelism and discipleship. This generation sees the potency of a church where pastors equip and shepherd disciple-makers rather than service-attenders. ~Francis Chan, as quoted in You Lost Me by David Kinnaman (pages 215-216)

The Church needs to embrace reconciliation.
Recover its imagination.
Hand-craft disciples (not cookie cutter)
Discover ones vocational calling (and how God is at work in the midst)
Radical faith is not about doing edgy things, but about embodying the self-giving love of Jesus. a love that RISKS suffering and matters more than life itself.
Don’t overreact. Reactionary thinking plagues much of evangelicalism.
Make disciples like Jesus.

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