By Josh Packard, Ph.D. and Ashleigh Hope
They're called The Dones.
After devoting a lifetime to their churches, they're walking away. Why?
Sociologists Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope's church development book reveals the results of a major study about the exodus from the American church.
And what they've discovered may surprise you. According to this church leadership book:
- Church refugees aren't who you'd expect. Among those scrambling for the exits are the church''s staunchest supporters and leaders.
- Leaving the church doesn't mean abandoning the faith. Some who are done with church report they've never felt spiritually stronger.
- The door still remains open---a crack. Those who've left remain hungry for community and the chance to serve--and they're finding both.
Sifting through hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews, Packard and Hope use their church development book to provide illuminating insights into what has become a major shift in the American landscape.
If you're in the church, this book for ministry leaders will help you discover the major reasons your church may be in danger of losing its strongest members—and what you can do to keep them.
If you're among those done with church, look for your story to be echoed in this church development book. You're not alone—and at last you're understood.
6" x 9" hardcover
Josh Packard is a professor of sociology at the University of Northern Colorado, co-director of the Social Research Lab, and the author of numerous academic articles, reviews, and books. He's also an active church member with a deep desire to understand the phenomenon of widespread church decline.
Ashleigh Hope is earning a doctorate in sociology at Vanderbilt University where she researches religion, community, and health. She is a member of a church in Nashville.