Walking away from church #2

30 May

We didn’t do our homework.

Walking away is big.  It’s much bigger than you might imagine. Have you visited a rural congregation lately?

From Rachel Held Evans – 15 Reasons I Left Church.

Last week, Christian Piatt offered seven reasons here, and four more reasons here. David Kinnaman recently authored a book entitled, You Lost Me, which details the findings of Barna researchers who interviewed hundreds of 18-29 year-olds about why they left the church.

I left the church when I was twenty-seven. I am now thirty, and after trying unsuccessfully to start a house church, my husband and I are struggling to find a faith community in which we feel we belong.

I’ve been reluctant to write about this search in the past, but it seems like such a common experience, I think it’s time to open up, especially now that I’ve had some time to process. But let’s begin with fifteen reasons why I left:

1. I left the church because I’m better at planning Bible studies than baby showers…but they only wanted me to plan baby showers.

2. I left the church because when we talked about sin, we mostly talked about sex. 

3. I left the church because my questions were seen as liabilities.

4. I left the church because sometimes it felt like a cult, or a country club, and I wasn’t sure which was worse.

5. I left the church because I believe the earth is 4.5 billion years old and that humans share a common ancestor with apes, which I was told was incompatible with my faith.

6. I left the church because sometimes I doubt, and church can be the worst place to doubt.

7. I left the church because I didn’t want to be anyone’s “project.”                More.

Perhaps if you’re over 29 years the chances are low that you’ll ‘walk’ but if you’ve spent time in country congregations, you’ll know that young members are the hope of congregations.  The absence of them spells death.   Then again, older folk do walk. If you go to Wayville Uniting Church, South Australia, you’ll find quite a few ex-LCA members.

Rachel Held Evans has 15 reasons for walking away from church.  Why did you walk away?


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2 responses to “Walking away from church #2

  1. Morven R. Baker

    June 3, 2012 at 2:17 am

    This is such an excellent post, that I re-blogged Rachel’s post myself. I love that a church has “Uniting” in it’s name. Isn’t that what it is all about, to bring together, in union, the body of believers?

  2. Katie and Martin

    June 5, 2012 at 12:09 am

    We wonder how people view this phenomena? It could be viewed as academic or it could be viewed as impacting the practice of church.
    People’s experience cannot be denied. Their hurt is so big that when they walk, they’re not looking for a conversation or to be understood. I doubt if they are even making a statement, unless it’s one of disappointment or loneliness. Are we going to observe their walking without even a reflection on their reasons? Perhaps it’s too late to ever attract them back, but what about the next generation? Will we set them up for walking as well? Will we continue to make the same mistakes year after year.
    Surely we have a responsibility to reflect on today’s practice in the hope of improving our practice for tomorrow.


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