Have you drifted away from Christianity and/or the church? I have been reading the book You Lost Me by David Kinnaman, and I have been challenged by some of the thought provoking (and hopefully action changing) points that he raises, many of which resonate with my own observations about both church and culture.
As part of his statistical and anecdotal synthesis, Kinnaman has surveyed 18-29 years who had church backgrounds but had drifted away, and he categorizes them into three broad categories: Nomads, Prodigals, and Exiles. Kinnaman identifies and defines these three general groups:
- Nomads – young adults who walk away from church engagement but still consider themselves Christian.
- You describe yourself as a Christian.
- You believe that personal involvement in a Christian community is optional.
- The importance of faith has faded.
- You are probably not angry or hostile toward Christianity.
- You are probably a spiritual experimentalist.
- Prodigals – young adults who lose their faith, describing themselves as “no longer Christian”.
- You feel varying levels of resentment toward Christians and Christianity.
- You have disavowed returning to church.
- You have moved on from Christianity.
- Your regrets, if you have them, usually centre on your parents.
- You feel as if you have broken out of constraints.
- Exiles – young adults who are still invested in their Christian faith but feel stuck (or lost) between culture and the church.
- You are not inclined toward being separate from “the world”.
- You are skeptical of institutions but are not wholly disengaged from them.
- You sense God moving “outside the walls of the church”.
- You are not disillusioned with tradition; you are frustrated with slick or shallow expressions of religion.
- You express a mix of concern and optimism for your peers.
- You have not found faith to be instructive to your calling or gifts.
- You struggle when other Christians question your motives.
What about you? If you are a young adult, have a background in the church, and feel a drift away from the church, which of the three categories would define you best?
Cast your vote in the poll below, and the post your comments and observations.