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Worth Reading: The Rise of the Nones

NONESA lot has been said & will be said about the recent Pew Report on Religion in America, but it confirms the premise behind the book The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated by James Emery White. I posted one of my best take aways from the book earlier. It also makes the book that much more important for the church leader that’s serious about reaching the unreached in our day. Here’s a few quotes from the book that have stuck with me:

  • The nones now make up the nation’s fastest growing and second largest religious category.
  • this trend is only an American phenomenon, not a global one.
  • The nones are NOT made up of seekers who are looking for a spiritual home but simply haven’t found it yet
  • Until we think about conversion growth as the way to grow our churches, we won’t make a dent in the fastest growing religious demographic of our day.
  • Most churches have as their primary focus reaching and then serving the already convinced. So the mission isn’t making disciples but rather caring for them.
  • When it comes to evangelism, the efforts of the church need to be like an incubator. Every approach, every program, every service furnishes a particular environment that will either serve the evangelistic process or hinder it.
  • Church is often like “a fishing expedition in which people put bait on a hook, place it in the middle of the boat’s deck, and then join hands to pray for the fish to jump in and grab the hook.”
  • If you are going to reach the nones, they are going to come to you as a none. That means they will come as couples living together, as gay couples, pregnant outside of marriage, addicted, skeptical.
  • If nones ever come to your church uninvited, it will probably be for the sake of their kids.
  • This is no time for cross-town church competitions for transfer growth and then patting ourselves on the back for reaching the already convinced as if we somehow made a dent in hell.
  • This is no time to cave to spiritual narcissism, in which the primary concern is whether people are fed, are ministered to, or “get anything out of the worship experience,” as though the mission is caring for believers as consumers instead of dying to ourselves to reach a lost world.
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