Thursday, December 4, 2008

Milk instead of meat

John Whitehead interviews Julia Duin, author of Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to Do about It:
John Whitehead: Why are people leaving the church?

Julia Duin: People who are leaving have been in church for some time. They’ve been believers more than ten years and are burned out. They’re not getting anything new in their churches. They’re not seeing the three major things—decent preaching, good community and feeding.

JW: What do you mean by “feeding?”

JD: Content and spirituality. What we hear today are slogans. The whole seeker friendly movement has ruined the church.

JW: Why do you call it “seeker friendly”?

JD: The seeker friendly movement started in the 1980s. It was the effort to dumb down a lot of church services, make them shorter, easier to grasp, cut the number of hymns, cut the preaching time and get it to a kind of package deal. The idea was to get nonbelievers interested in going to church because it would not take up too much of their time and wouldn’t challenge them too much. But what happened is that a lot of people who had been believers for some time suddenly found that the sermons were like milk instead of meat. They were so simplistic. Many were finding that what they were getting was pabulum. ....

JW: What type of people are you talking about in Quitting Church?

JD: The people I wrote about in Quitting Church aren’t necessarily the kind attending Osteen’s church. It’s the older Christians. It’s the ones who have been around for more than ten years and are experiencing a spiritual brain drain. These people are the ones heading for the exits. These are the strongest Christians in a given church, the ones who are going out the door. Ironically, a lot of pastors are not asking questions. They’re not saying, “Why are you leaving?” A lot of people who leave church tell me that no one comes after them. No one ever calls them after they’ve left the church. .... [more]
Quitting Church

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Jim. Further on in the article I found a tidbit that I found particularly interesting--many of those leaving are leaving because they're tired of not being fed, and they don't want to complain about their pastor. When they go, the pastors aren't paying any attention to their exit. The author suggests that the pastor should poll those who are leaving for information as to the reason why. Sounds like common sense to me.


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