BECOME AN IRRESISTIBLE CHURCHFROM THE INSIDE OUT

Discover the FOUR major reasons people are leaving church…and how to WIN them back.

"I feel judged."
"I don’t want to be lectured."
"Christians are a bunch of hypocrites."
"Your God is irrelevant to my life."

It’s sad but true. These are the four major reasons why people are staying away from church. The study and research in these books shows startling statistics, compelling stories, and a surprising Jesusbased approach. You’ll be stretched to redefine the way you do church.

It all begins with embracing four simple acts of love:

  • Radical Hospitality
  • Fearless Conversation
  • Genuine Humility
  • Divine Anticipation

Far from theoretical musings, these practical acts show Jesus’ love to
people who crave it.

The time for change is now. And the one to change it is you.

The 4
Acts of Love

Click to learn more about each one.

CONversation

Share your insights on church.

Hear some of the honest reasons why people don’t want to go to church anymore.

click to watch a video

MEET THE AUTHORS

THOM & JOANI SCHULTZ have spent their entire adult lives serving the church and
challenging the status quo. Thom is the founder and CEO of Group Publishing, a creator of
innovative ministry resources for children, youth, and adults. Joani is Group’s chief creative
officer. Together they oversee Group Cares, a nonprofit organization that’s helped nearly
400,000 people serve others around the world. They’ve also written several best-selling books
for church leaders, including Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at Church.

"Our churches 'talk' love, but we've forgotten that what we DO is more important than what we SAY."

READ MORE: An excerpt from the book

conversation: Join the conversation
with us about the book

our blog: Hear more from the authors

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Reviews

Bill added this review
The message of this book is an excellent reminder and call to the church to consider carefully it's place in God's mission, and as such, it's place in this world. I find the “4 ACTS of Love” antidote to the four reasons people are staying away from the church inspiring. Why? Because these 4 Acts are biblically prescribed responses. For me, the explanation of these four acts was well worth the price of the book. The process of seeking to live these 4 Acts out, on first, a very personal level, and then corporately in local bodies of Christ, has the power to change an unbelieving world’s perspective of the church, and most importantly, their perspective of the Christ behind the church. My recommendation: buy it, study it, apply it!
Mike added this review
Great book! I read it as a [former] congregation member, thinking the book was for pastors. I wanted to see if it addressed my reasons for not wanting to go to church anymore. My reasons are demonstrated in Phillip's review above. There are too many 'Phillips' in the church…anxious to convict and correct without knowing me or loving me first. (Notice Jesus' approach in Luke 7:36-50…Simon would have kept the sinner from coming in) The book speaks of "Acceptance without Endorsement." Telling me what is wrong points to judgment (legalism). Showing me what is right points me to Jesus. This book points me to Jesus and shows what I can do, even as a congregation member. I highly recommend it for church leaders and congregation members alike. Perhaps we as the body can help pastors create a church we want to attend…one where sinful people like the woman in Luke who found Jesus just as she was, and was forever changed!
Jim added this review
I am a pastor of almost 50 years. I attended the movie showing and then read the book. I agree with the authors when they say, "Church ministry does not begin and end with preaching." We only have a few of Jesus' recorded sermons. However, we have several records of his taking the time and putting the effort to reach people "right where they are". You can't have a conversation with people who won't talk to you. You can't preach to people who never darken the door of a church.

 

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Daniel added this review
An incredible book! I've read so many books that diagnose the illnesses of the church and serve up platitudes without real solutions. Thom and Joani certainly point out our condition, but do so in a way that often causes one to chuckle in a familial way. The authors give clear workable and biblical answers. This is a book for the times. Thank You!
Phillip added this review
1
Disappointing: The book very well articulated the obstacles that today's church face. However, the book's recommendations for remedying these issues came across to me as simply being more like the world. The Word of God tells us to be a separate people and to reprove, rebuke, exhort with long suffering and doctrine. Of course all of this must be exercised in love, and that doesn't mean we must embrace sin or a sinful lifestyle. Paul's teachings makes that very clear. Another point the Word of God is very clear in expressing is that He (and we as Christians) welcome everyone as they are, but do not accept and/or endorse them in their sinful "old man" state. After being born again, having put off that old man and put on the newness of life; then are we to accept that person as a brother or sister in Christ. The Lifetree Cafe the book speaks of is not a church nor do they worship God according to what I read. It is simply as the name indicates, a cafe. A place where people come to talk about politics, the weather, or whatever. I read of no convicting spiritual move taking place here. So you made friends with a group of Muslims and a witch, that's not furthering God's Kingdom. Those people may now be your friend but unless they get under Holy Ghost conviction, repent of their sins and make Jesus their Lord; they're as certain for Hell as if they were there right now and your friendship won't change that. They need a relationship alright...a relationship with Jesus Christ. In my opinion, this book didn't do much to help Christians address the issues our churches are facing. I believe what is advocated in this book will actually do more harm to churches than good.
Brigitte added this review
5
This book is a must read for anyone involved at a church. It is such an honest book taking a real look into a real issue. To often we as church leaders don't take the time to look at our church from an outsiders perspective. Truly a church altering book!
Kurt added this review
Just started reading a book passed on to me by a colleague, "Why Nobody Goes to Church Anymore" by Thom and Joani Schultz, owners of Group Publishing. It is loaded with statistics of the "church" in America as well as worldwide. These are challenging days of church decline and plateau that need to be addressed. The book is hard hitting with facts that cannot be ignored. This is not a book for just solo reading but one that church staff and leadership should read through as a group and discuss. There are principles here that address the contemporary culture and what will connect people to church and what won't. While every church setting has its own unique needs there are "step back and take a look at what you are doing" issues addressed that are "not faint of heart" as they might lead to some present practices improvement. Thom and Joani have had 40 years seeing the "church" through their publishing ministry to hundreds of thousands of churches and they have a perspective that most do not. This book is a must for every pastor, elder board, denominational leader, staff and any leader that is not afraid to look at their own church practices and address what is and what is not connecting with people. Someone has finally told the king he has no clothes. Kurt Jarvis Author of Telling The Story
Randy added this review
5
Will everybody agree with everything in the new book "Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore!" and the 4 Acts of Love that will Make Your Church Irresistible? No, probably not. But after reading this book, I sure agree with a lot of it; what I don't agree with is making me think about things we do in the church and why! It is a book that needs to be read, by preachers, youth leaders, Sunday School directors, and anyone who has a heart for making their church appeal to people as they strive to find Jesus as the Lord of their lives. Thom and Joani Schultz, founders and leaders of Group Publishing Company, throw out some ideas that can start RIGHT NOW in making your church family appealing and real to those discovering the walk or walking the walk with Jesus Christ. In my ministry, I have seen what not having "radical hospitality", "fearless conversations, "genuine humility", and "divine anticipation" can do, and conversely what those traits can do. Check it out for yourself and as a stocking stuffer for a church leader. With a few well-chosen "new year's resolutions" that can last all year, your church family might look a whole lot different this time next year.
Kathy added this review
5
This book has a message that pastors and leaders in the church MUST hear. Thom and Joani Schultz don't just talk about the problems facing churches but they give concrete, proven ways to make a change. I will never again be satisfied to keep doing church the way it's always been done; we need to take risks and get out of our comfort zones.
David added this review
1
The whole premise of the book and this movement, that is being accepted by so many, is just plainly not Biblical. The whole notion that the church and Jesus Himself can be made "irresistible" is ridiculous. Jesus was never irresistible and neither is His church. The world does not love Christ. The reason people do not come to church is because they love darkness rather than light. What the church needs is powerful preaching from the Word of God. As the Holy Spirit takes the preached Word and convicts the sinner the lost soul repents and receives the only way of salvation - Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Making the church like the world does no good; it becomes just one more place for lost people to get entertained and have their ears tickled. I would recommend a far better read, Get Spurgeon's short essay, "Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats."
Becky added this review
5
For anyone who loves the church. This book is so practical, so simple and powerful because it will make you see just how far we have strayed from the path.
D added this review
1
Having survived such an open-door church practise, I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with David and Phillip. Letting wolves in to the sheepfold only endangers the physical AND spiritual lives of the sheep. Without preaching and teaching the Word of God and following the wisdom therein is akin to indiscriminate, lax parents letting pedophiles, murderers and theives into their homes, effectively robbing their own children of the security intended for them by God. Love is not always friendly and nice and is definitely selective as to who enters through its gates!
Bill added this review
5
The title of the book is a bit misleading. It sounds like a publication of what wrong with the church and the problems we face. The book addresses those issues for roughly 40 pages. The rest of the book shares ways congregations tear out the moats that isolated them and begin engaging with their neighborhood and community. It lays out sound ways of how we interact with our area in a thoughtful and life-giving way. To put it another way, the book helps one see how we can share the Great News of Jesus Christ in a fun and energetic manner.
doug added this review
5
Just saw the movie and have read the book. I have renewed hope that something can be done to breathe life back into our churches. The film is one of the very best documentaries I have seen. Every CHristian should see it. The compelling story will get you thinking!

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4 Reasons the Majority Stay Away From Church

By Thom Shultz

Most people don’t want to go to church. But why? And what might interest them in joining a community of faith?

Those questions have sent us across the country looking for answers. After years of research and countless interviews, my wife, Joani, and I have finally collected our findings. They’re in our books titled (no surprise), Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore and Why Nobody Wants to Be Around Christians Anymore. We found four recurring themes underlying the majority’s choice to avoid church. Here’s a preview:

  1. "I feel judged."
    Gabe Lyons’ and David Kinnaman’s research in their book UnChristian confirms that people feel that “church people judge me.” According to their studies, 87 percent of Americans label Christians as judgmental. Fair or unfair, most people view the church as critical, disapproving, and condemning. Whether it’s behavior, looks, clothes, choice of friends, lifestyle decisions, or whatever, the church has a solid reputation for judgment and condemnation.
  2. “I don’t want to be lectured.”
    More than ever, people today want to participate in the discussion. One man told us he’s talked with more than a thousand other men who’ve given up on church. He said, “Guys don’t want to sit in a room and idly listen to some preacher do all the talking. They want to ask questions. They want to share their thoughts, too.” The same goes for women. They don’t want another one-way lecture.
  3. “Church people are a bunch of hypocrites.”
    This isn’t a small minority talking. A whopping 85 percent make this claim. We know, we know. Every church leader in America is weary of this “excuse.” But people aren’t merely referring to incongruous behavior. What bothers them is the sense that church leaders act as if they alone have all the answers. As if they’ve arrived. As if they’re only interested in telling others what to do—“teaching,” to use ministry vernacular.
  4. “Your God is irrelevant to my life.
    But I’d like to know there is a God and he cares about me.” Research by the Barna Group reveals that only 44 percent of people who attend church every week say they regularly experience God at church. They’re not looking for the deep theological subject matter that interests a lot of preachers. They crave something rather simple. They want to be reassured that God is real, that he is more than a historical figure, that he is present today, and that he is active in the lives of people around them.

Whether we like it or not, this is what the population is saying about the church today.

Now, as God’s people, we can defensively bark back and shift the blame to all those heathens and backsliders who’ve abandoned the church. But that will do nothing but hasten the decline of the American church.

Or, we can explore ways to better be the church. That’s what led us to the “four acts of love” we describe in the books. I’ll preview those in coming blog posts.

When it comes to the plight of the church, one thing’s for sure. God has not given up on his church. He’s at work, urging his people forward. Now it’s up to us to get on board.