Over at Scot McKnight’s blog, the first of a planned series of excerpts from Church Refugees, a book about “dechurched” people. Not marginal attenders or cynics, they were the kind of high-involvement people every church wants to have. But along the way the church converted them, and they went from from enthusiastic church folks to “done with religion.”
We call these people the dechurched or the Dones: They’re done with church. They’re tired and fed up with church. They’re dissatisfied with the structure, social message, and politics of the institutional church, and they’ve decided they and their spiritual lives are better off lived outside of organized religion.
Here’s an example from one such “Done” called Ethan:
when we finally left the church, we’ve just done house church where we create and do things with, others rather than for them. I’m done with the top-down, institutional church. I thought we could fix it from within, but we got beat up pretty bad. I know we didn’t always handle things the best way, but at the same time, we kept showing up and volunteering because we felt the church was God’s home.
I don’t think that’s the case anymore. The church is wherever God’s work is being done, and too often the way we were treated and the things I saw happen in the institutional church to other people just weren’t in alliance with what we thought God wanted.