Duin brings two kinds of experiences to bear in this engaging little jeremiad: as religion editor for the Washington Times, she is in her element marshaling statistics, interviewing authors and clergy, and commenting on the trend of faithful evangelicals who increasingly vote with their feet by leaving their churches. But she's also a self-described born-again evangelical herself, coping with the personal pain of not having a viable and permanent church home. Drawing heavily on research by pollster George Barna, Duin diagnoses a widespread dissatisfaction among evangelicals, who feel their churches do a decent job with new Christians but fall far short with mature believers. In particular, Duin shows, women and singles are leaving churches in ever-greater numbers. (As a single woman herself, she discusses her own experiences with being marginalized while successfully evoking a larger context through research and polls.) Duin has some prescriptions to help with these problems, including meatier sermons that address real issues; house churches and micro-churches that foster more genuine community; and even in-church matchmaking services to help singles who want to find a mate. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Quitting Church: Why the Faithful Are Fleeing and What to Do about Itby Julia Duin
Several recent studies reveal that churches across America are hemorrhagingthey are losing members at a life-threatening rate. Intrigued and disturbed by what appears to be an epidemic, Julia Duin, a religion reporter for the Washington Times, amassed research on the issue, interviewed many who have left church, and attended numerous churches in hopes of
Several recent studies reveal that churches across America are hemorrhagingthey are losing members at a life-threatening rate. Intrigued and disturbed by what appears to be an epidemic, Julia Duin, a religion reporter for the Washington Times, amassed research on the issue, interviewed many who have left church, and attended numerous churches in hopes of making sense of this phenomenon.
Quitting Church reveals the startling findings of her research. It explains to church leaders why this mass exodus is happeningand what can be done to reverse it. Beginning with the cold, hard facts, Duin then takes readers through a number of issues that influence a person's decision to leave the church, including irrelevancy, hidden suffering, family-centric programming that leaves singles out, impersonal or bland worship services, a lack of biblical literacy, and much more. This eye-opening book will be essential reading for pastors, ministry leaders, and churchgoers who wish to bring these disenchanted Christians back into their midst.
- Baker Publishing Group
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Meet the Author
Julia Duin is religion editor for the Washington Times. For seven years she edited the Times' prominent "Culture, Etc." which has become known for its timely articles on national trends. Duin lives in Falls Church, Virginia.
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Review: by Stephanie S. Sawyer
By Julia Duin, Religion Editor, The Washington Times
Baker Books 2008 ISBN 978-0-8010-6823-2
When Julia Duin, Religion Editor of The Washington Times, gave us Quitting Church, she filled a void oft felt by scores of parishioners and former congregants that is simply not heard in the institution of the church. We have waited for this book a long time.
Julia defines and brings to light what thousands of us who are fleeing already know deep within. (¿It was not enriching their experience of God,¿ p.170). Quitting Church will not only enlighten those staff who will dare to read it, but also break the isolation of those who know the despair of the loss so deeply felt after having known the glory of what a church can be.
Julia reveals the depth of the errant attitudes in the church today as it has drifted from the powerful proclamative and charismatic draws known forty to fifty years ago at the height of the Jesus Movement. The church¿s appeal through open community, discipleship development, worship in the Spirit, and spontaneous living from the 60¿s to the 80¿s has subsided into ritualized liturgy as scandal rocked the leadership. Rebounding the broken congregations revealed little but lack of pastoral care, skeptical staff unwilling to visit parishioners, and a lack of Biblical teaching for the sake of winning over a growing culture focus population. `Openness to the Spirit¿ during a service with its spontaneous worship became a grasped memory despite present desire. Those grounded in the Jesus Movement fled having known the fullness of what the church can truly be.
Every pastor, every priest, and all staff authority should read Quitting Church for the sake of growing community within the flock. Health of the parish, pitfalls in direction, and discernment in leadership are all covered by one of our nations finest religion writers.
I was raised in a denominational church, baptized as an infant, confirmed in elementary school, an acolyte, a regular at Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, a member of the youth group, the youth representative to my church's district, a frequent traveller to youth retreats, a short-term missionary, active in parachurch and homeless ministries, and an avid fundraiser with aspirations to the ordained ministry. Why did I quit my church and childhood denomination? Why did I quit so many other churches in my life? This book detailed the myriad reasons why I and other faithful Christians quit. I was hooked in the first chapter when Duin wrote of a legally blind man, a single mother of three, and a man who lives in my city, all who quit church. I am friends with a legally blind woman as well as a single mother of two, who have had a hard time since they moved here. I and other Christians have helped them out greatly, but there has been much disappointment among our churches, too, touching on their lives. Please, please read this book, even if you think you know why people have quit your church and why they should not have quit your church. Duin writes of denominations and spiritual practices you may not like, but you may still discover spiritual and emotional blindspots your congregation needs to address so otherwise faithful Christians will not look for greener pastures elsewhere...or leave permanently, never to return to any church anywhere.
Reads easy while it is good information it reads like many articles strung together. Her bios shows all through, cover to cover, tainting the information she desires to place before one. This book could have been written in 30 pages or less.