Three Types of Church Dropouts
The Sunday school class I co-teach at church is working through David Kinnaman’s “You Lost Me,” a good research-based survey of the faith of Christian 18-29 year-olds (see my thoughts on the book as a whole here). Fifty-nine percent of Christian twentysomethings “dropout” of church for a time or altogether during the third decade of their life. As parents of future (and a few present) twentysomethings and church members with 18-29 year-olds we care about, we want to know why this is happening and what we can do better to stem this tide a bit. There are many good books out there on this topic right now, and Kinnaman’s is one.
Drawing from his research, he identifies three different kinds of dropouts: prodigals, those who reject God and Church completely; nomads, those who rootlessly move in and out of churches through seasons of devotion and apathy unconvinced of the churches’ relevance; and exiles, sincere lovers of God who find the traditional church a hard and ineffective place to stay.
I put Kinnaman’s observations about these three types of church dropouts in the following downloadable chart: Three Types of Church Dropouts