You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith

by Dave Kinnaman, Aly Hawkins. Baker Books, 2011.

Some studies show that 60% of church going teens from a decade ago are not worshiping in a congregation now. What is going on? You Lost Me is a study that states the reasons why this is happening. The authors, Kinnaman and Hawkins, also offer suggestions to reverse the decline. Kinnaman is a lead researcher for the Barna Group and Hawkins provided assistance in putting data in book form. The study shows that the challenge of passing the faith to the next generations of adults is more than figuring out how to market elaborate programs. The challenge is deeper, more soulful than that. Young adults don’t like one-side communication - with other adults or with God. They feel disconnected from formulaic faith. They aren’t interested in learning doctrines. The list goes on. In fact, Kinnaman found that young adults are articulate about how their particular congregation “lost” them along the way. Anti-science rhetoric and exclusive pronouncements are part of the journey gone awry. Thankfully, the book offers more than diagnosis. Look for helpful correctives. Indeed the last chapter is titled “Fifty Ideas to Find a New Generation.” Recommended for protestant congregational leaders and others who are interested in this issue.