learning from leavers

March 4, 2005

Ron Cole posted a quote that caught my eye this morning. I discovered it came from a series of three articles in New Zealand based Reality magazine. The series was written by Alan Jamieson, who has done a lot of research with those who have left what many would call the ‘institutional’ church. He has also written a book called A Churchless Faith, which I haven’t read, but assume is based on this reasearch.

Though his work appears to be focused in New Zealand, it certainly seems to fit with many of the conversations I’ve had with people in the US. There are many who have chosen to disconnect from the ‘institutional’ church. I have not, but seek to be part of helping to reshape it for the future. I’m trying to be open to whatever that might look like.

As he says in the third article, we have much to learn from sitting down and listening to those who have moved on:

The irony is that although the number of post-church groups is increasing, few church leaderships seem to be aware of them or in touch with them. Yet talking with those involved with these groups could help church leaderships to understand why people leave churches like theirs, why others in the community don’t want to belong and may be able to give pointers as to how the church could better position itself in our changing society which seems so resistant and uninterested in the Christian church.

Below are link to all three articles, in order. I would recommend them to anyone who has a desire to see the church continue to renew itself in our changing culture.

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