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You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church... and Rethinking Faith

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,630 ratings  ·  220 reviews
Close to 60 percent of young people who went to church as teens drop out after high school. Now the bestselling author of "unChristian" trains his researcher's eye on these young believers. Where Kinnaman's first book "unChristian" showed the world what outsiders aged 16-29 think of Christianity, "You Lost Me" shows why younger Christians aged 16-29 are leaving the church ...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Baker Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  1,630 ratings  ·  220 reviews

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Daniel Threlfall
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
When a book is packed with numbers, statistics, and solid research data, you should do two things:

1. Buy it and read it, because research is long, hard, and expensive work.

2. Be skeptical, because statistics are slithery things.

David Kinnaman, President of the Barna Group, dishes up some discoveries in this book, hashes through some explanations, and proposes some solutions. As you read the book, you will encounter some thought-generating statistics, and work through some startling findings. The
Ross Blocher
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
The author kindly sent me a signed copy of this book after I participated in a companion video series to the book ( "You Lost Me" is about people like me - the younger generation that has been leaving the Christian church in droves. Kinnaman's job as head of the Barna Research Group makes him uniquely qualified to talk about the statistics of belief, and he states from the start that 59% of young people (age 18-29) leave the church.

He breaks these wanderers down into t
Eddie Lutz
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Highly disappointed in this book.

First... the few things that I appreciated. 1) good cultural analysis. I think he rightly identifies the influences on what he terms the Mosaic generation. 2) late in the book he points out a problem with how we segregate ages in the church, and how that is a huge factor that contributes to youth walking away from the faith. I've been preaching this for years. Wish someone would listen.

Second, what I didn't appreciate:

1) The book title itself "You Lost Me!" point
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found that much of Kinnaman's data and analysis of it resonates with my experience--both personally, and in my understanding of the teens in my youth group. The categories he proposes for people leaving the church (nomads, prodigals and exiles) are very broad, and their appellations can be confusing or misleading unless you read carefully how he defines them.

Overall, I found the book very helpful for the following reasons (non-exhaustive, random order):

1. Careful processing of tons of data int
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christianity
This book was a very mixed read. Kinnaman offers an incredible amount of statistical research connected to the evangelical church and its numbers. It is a huge resource for any pastor, educator, or church goer interested in recent generations, and the research itself was wonderful. But the theology presented was questionable. Clearly, being from the Barna Group, his theology was going to be very conservative, and I am alright with conservative. But when it begins excluding Christians from the fa ...more
Kenneth J.
May 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Nothing too earth-shattering, here, and a bit of intimidation-by-polls, numbers, and by simply no longer being hip. And, the subtitle, "rethinking faith" seems trite. The book lends itself to developing ministries that will attract visitors based on appealing to their personal tastes in worship style, music, location, etc., rather than the often terrifying prospect of committing to the preaching and living out of the gospel itself, and then trusting God to bring whomever He will to a particular ...more
Bob Buice
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
A number of studies have suggested that teenagers are some of the most religious Americans, while young adults – in their twenties - are the least religious. Moreover young adults are more likely to believe that Jesus sinned, to doubt His miracles, and to question the resurrection. In “You Lost Me – Why Young Christians Are Leaving the Church”, David Kinnaman offers additional though incomplete, research on this topic. He divides those young people who have left the church into Nomads – who leav ...more
J.S. Park
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
David Kinnaman has written an incredibly honest, important work that conveys the monumental changes in a post-Christian culture where the new generation is telling the church, "You lost me." He has compiled all the common reasons why the youth and young professionals are exiting the church doors. From interviews, research, and personal experience, Kinnaman makes clear the landmark at the crossroads of our faith, where we can choose to embrace the rapid shifts of our world while embracing the tim ...more
Jordan Varey
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a 30 year old Christian I am very interested in the topic of this book. According to the Barna group statistics there is a drop of 43 percent in church engagement amongst 18-29 year olds who once actively participated. When they leave they take their talent, enthusiasm, and constructive criticism with them. This is a palpable loss for those who remain. "These numbers represent about eight million twentysomething's who were active churchgoers as teenagers but who will no longer be particularly ...more
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a very much. It talked about why young adults are leaving the church, something I personally know too much about. I thought that it helpfully put young adults in three categories: those who used to be Christians, but have renounced their faith; those who consider themselves Christians, but rarely go to church; and those who are still Christians and involved with faith communities, but feel exiled from the church.Although I think many young adults swing between these categories, ...more
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
This book (on statistics, no less) made me mad and excited and terrifically engaged. Whether you are a Christian traditionalist or a Mosaic who has left the church behind or anyone in between, you will find some things here to challenge you. My favorite quote came in the final section of "ideas to find a generation." This was written by a college student asked what would help her re-engage with the Christian faith:

"I want you to be someone I want to grow up and be like. I want you to step up and
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
You Lost Me functions admirably as a discussion starter and awareness raiser for those concerned with the immediate future of the church in reaching and ministering to the Millennial generation. The research is rigorous and applicable, but readers should be aware that Kinnaman is not claiming to have all the answers, but primarily trying to engage Christians in a discussion he believes is critical. He argues that my generation is more distinct from previous generations than other generations hav ...more
Rhonnie Cough
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Listened to this on audio which is pretty difficult for me...I'd like to get a copy and really mark in it. But anyway - lots of good thoughts and relevant info. A lot rang true from my experience/people I know. Some was frustrating but I'm glad he held this generation's feet to the fire too. I think church leaders and pastors should read this. I agree with another reviewer there was little mention about the Holy Spirit's power to work in lives above and beyond the culture. Also, let's address wh ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book - very challenging, and yet not negative. It points out great opportunities and possibilities for new growth and reformation to enliven the church. Challenging in that is points out ways that the church has fallen short in creating disciples. People want so much more. I think everyone who cares about young people and who cares about the church should read this book.
Jason Bruce
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book in understanding the young generation and the current state of Christian Churches. Challenging and thought provoking. Stats and findings are great conversation-starters.
Dave McNeely
Oct 12, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is very valuable and an interesting read, but Kinnaman's typology is a little thin. A great conversation starter, but could be better. ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
a necessary read for any working in an evangelical church.
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, even if there was a perspective here and there that I didnt necessarily agree with. I found it honest and accurate to my experience with and among the Mosaic generation.
Luke Evans
Nothing earth-shattering here. Confirms what is patently clear.
Joel Arnold
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and it will definitely influence my personal evangelism and discipleship.

- Amazing data. Kinnaman lives and works with statistics and it shows. Hits book convinced me more than ever before that there is a meaningfully significant religious gap among people my age.
- Valid analysis. Unlike Ken Ham's Already Gone, the conclusions Kinnaman draws are generally spot-on. I particularly appreciated his fair, balanced analysis of generation gap, recognizing that it happens b
Karl Mueller
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I should have read this book 9 years ago when it was first published. Having said that, I'm glad I read it during these past few days. Outside of some cultural references which date it, the book is still relevant to Christians and the church today. While David Kinnaman wrote the book to address issues of 18-29 year olds and Christianity back in 2011, I think that the principles, research and findings are as relevant today to not only 30-somethings in 2020, but also to a large extent to the "done ...more
Jeff Elliott
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nothing I have read so far has helped me understand ministering to Millennials as well as this book. I like Kinnaman's "unchristian" but didn't find it necessarily helpful. This is the book I should have read.

Notable quotations:
p. 39-the transmission of faith from one generation to the next relies on the messy and sometimes flawed process of young people finding meaning for themselves in the traditions of their parents. Prodigals, nomads, and exiles all have to make sense of the faith conveyed t
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
Meh. Book is full of logical fallacies and assumptions.
Harold Cameron
Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it
The book, You Lost Me – Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…And Rethinking Faith written by the President of the Barna Group and author David Kinnaman is sobering and sad to read but it must be read. We can not ignore the truth and reality written of in this book in the hopes that the problem will either somehow miraculously resolve itself or simply go away. The issue or problem WILL NOT miraculously just be fixed like it were a broken gas line on our automobile nor will it just go away, but ...more
Stephen Hiemstra
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I dropped out of church when I went to college.

I was neither angry at God nor questioning his existence—
problems closer to home dominated my life:

• I felt lost when our church youth group vanished overnight after the youth director was sacked;
• I felt lost when I failed my college audition for music school;
• I felt lost when the Vietnam draft loomed over me and I had trouble explaining to my parents why fighting in an unethical war was wrong; and
• I felt lost in my singleness at a time when mo
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
In 2004, I was graduating from high school and we were warned in Sunday School that our next few years in college would present us with an endless array of stereotypes that would be a threat to our faith; none of them ever materialized for me. However, I did become interested in the idea of why people left the faith, and in 2007, when I was 20 years old and still a Baptist, I read Kinnaman's "UnChristian". This is, to an extent, a follow up to that work. "unChristian" was a look at how 16-29 yea ...more
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a must read for any church leader. Kinnaman addresses an impending issue for the future of the church in the west: why are all the young Christians (18-29) leaving the church? 59% of young adults with a Christian background drop out of church after attending regularly as a teen, and most will not be returning.

The author categorises this new phenomenon into three major trends. Nomads: those with "a Christian background who walk away from church engagement but still consider themse
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
In You Lost Me, David Kinnaman shares the results of the Barna Group's extensive research into the generation that they call he Mosaics. This group, sometimes referred to as Generation Y or the Millenials, includes young adults born since 1983. Although each generation has always been different from its predecessors, Kinnaman argues that the Mosaics are "discontinuously different." What makes them different is their unprecedented access to information, their alienation, and their general skeptic ...more
Eric Chappell
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reading
There's a dropout problem in the Church today. The Millenials (what George Barna calls "Mosaics") have significant doubts about the relevance and rationale of Christianity. In this followup to his fabulous book UnChristian, David Kinnaman examines why insiders are leaving Church and gives a voice to the painful, personal stories of young adults.

Ever wonder why many young adults move from mountain top passion in the teen years to being completely MIA as twentysomethings? Kinnaman's detailed, and
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
David Kinnaman's book You Lost Me is based on extensive Barna Research exploring the reasons a number of Millenials (or Mosaics as Kinnaman likes to call them) have left the church. The book is useful for four areas of exploration.

The first is that of generational distinctions. Kinnaman sees three qualities that mark this generation: access to information, alienation from societal structures and skepticism toward authority. Of these I thought the first the most unique--certainly Boomers experien
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“Overall, knowledge of Scripture, doctrine, and church history is poor among most Christians, not just young adult believers.” 1 likes
“The next generation is caught between two possible destinies—one moored by the power and depth of the Jesus-centered gospel and one anchored to a cheap, Americanized version of the historic faith that will snap at the slightest puff of wind. Without a clear path to pursue the true gospel, millions of young Christians will look back on their twentysomething years as a series of lost opportunities for Christ.” 1 likes
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