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Churchless: Understanding Today's Unchurched and How to Connect with Them
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Churchless: Understanding Today's Unchurched and How to Connect with Them

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Churchless people are all around us: among our closest loved ones, at our workplaces, in our neighborhoods. And more and more, they are becoming the norm: The number of churchless adults in the US has grown by nearly one-third in the past decade. Yet the startling truth is that many of these people claim they are looking for a genuine, powerful encounter with God--but they ...more
Hardcover, 207 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Tyndale Momentum (first published September 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Based on 18 nationwide surveys, this alarmist guide to the ‘unchurched’ is very much intended for use by the establishment. What is driving people away? What are churches failing to offer? The book seems to take a reduction in American churchgoing as sure evidence of declining morality. “Religiosity in decline,” one chart reads. Two-fifths of people consider themselves post-Christian! Secularism is on the rise!

The authors acknowledge two major hurdles to church-going: the sense that God is missi
Seth Pierce
Helpful, but nowhere near as groundbreaking as You Lost Me or UnChristian. This ALMOST felt like leftovers, and some vague platitudes didnt help me feel hopeful. It also seems to contradict itself at time, saying in one place that loving relationships are important, and in other places that they aren't effective.

Still, the trends are interesting and it can serve as a good tool for helping churches face the realities of post-Christian culture. What becomes apparent, for an Adventist audience, is
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Lots and lots of statistics. Leaves you to do the legwork of applying them. It's honest, but not real helpful.
Pieter Brits
It would pay Christian churches to first read this book before they embark on grandiose fact finding missions to establish why their numbers are dwindling all the time.
The Barna foundation carried out thorough research on the reasons why some people belong to churches while others decide to do the journey on their own. Suggestions are given to churches on how to regain the trust of the churchless especially those that formerly belonged.
It is important to note that churchless does not necessari
Carter McNeese
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who is interested in the future of the Church and about the general stance of those that are unchurched NEED to read this book. There were a few surprises, not the least of which is how many unchurched individuals are not only open to faith matters but how many of them are people that feel as if they have had to step away from the Church but not Jesus. It should leave those of us in leadership in the Church asking some hard questions about why so many are leaving and what role our leaders ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting data and good arguments presented in this book.
Janet Richards
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this for the data and research behind the unchurched community.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting, yet somewhat dated read about the life of the church, church attendance and why people no longer feel compelled to attend church. The research offers some unique insights into these questions.
Ko Matsuo
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the second in a trilogy of books by the Barna Group addressing why the church today is not connecting with younger people. The book is an analysis of the US demographic that does not go to church. As such it reads like a book for statistics fans, with graph after graph with dry commentary.

There are some interesting facts such as that the unchurched do not appear too different in terms of interests and goals as people who go to church. Also, that the unchurched view themselves as spiritua
Ho Christopher
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Atheism has been on the rise increasingly for the past few years, while this book is not about atheism, it is certainly similar to about another issue the church is facing — the rising number of the unchurched.

In this book, George Barna & David Kinnaman talks about the unchurched. These are individuals who have participated or belonged to the church in the past but have for one reason or another stopped going to church, some completely, some only return during special occasions.

The book shows us
John Nichols
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Drive by the parking lot of many churches on Sunday morning and count the empty slots. Church attendance seems to be in decline, and many no longer consider church attendance a viable investment of time. Perhaps it is time we ask, “Why?”

In Churchless, George Barna and David Kinnaman give a look into the thoughts and practices of both the churched and unchurched. The book is stuffed with survey results, statistics, and charts but the data is presented in a digestible format. Don’t think boring la
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Analysis, discussion, and assessment of those in America who do not attend or associate with churches based on recent Barna research.

The research covers the "churched" and the "churchless." Most of the "churchless" at one point was associated with a church; most still maintain some belief in God and a good number believe in Christianity. As the research shows well most are not very well trained in Christianity, its worldview or ethics, although the same was true for many who associate with churc
Jennifer Pickwell
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Churchless written by Barna Group, is not a book intended for the masses. Honestly, outside of Christian circles, a reader would be mystified by this particular title. Editors George Barna and David Kinnaman have provided an amazing piece of research for churches and for the Christian who have noticed the culture shift in our country. Quite frankly, it is hard to miss! Churchless offers insight into our nation and why church is no longer a priority even for those who claim to know Christ.

I think
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
It's hard to read a whole book on statistics in general, because it can get a little redundant at times. That happened in Churchless, but the topic was so interesting to me that it helped me press through to the end. Now, the book at times was really hard for me to read, because it made me mad. I was mad at the statistics and how the church has not walked in her true identity and purpose on the earth. As someone who has been through ministry school and worked in churches for the majority of my ...more
Steven Hinkle
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books
If we want to reach those who choose not to be a part of the church, we need to know how they think. George Barna and David Kinnaman of the Barna Group provide us with a wealth of surprising trends from two decades of interviews and analysis in their new book Churchless: Understanding today’s Unchurched and How To Connect With Them.

The number of unchurched adults in the U.S. has grown almost one-third larger in the last decade and so a book that helps us know how to connect, invite, and engage i
Robert Bogue
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes a book review and my experiences connect, and that triggers a chain reaction of books to read. I’m in one of those chain reactions now. I started with Theory U which led to Bowling Alone which led to reading Churchless. The last connection will make more sense once I’ve done the review for Bowling Alone. However for now, I’ll share that in Bowling Alone much of the book is the research about how we as Americans are not joining and participating in clubs as much as we once were. There’s ...more
Jac (For Love and Books)
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was incredibly intrigued by the idea behind Churchless when I first saw it on Netgalley (thanks for the copy to read and review!) as this is one of the things I feel called to do - help reach out to those who have been turned off by Christianity in some way. (Just as I was not so long ago!)

I really felt like this was one of those books that Church Staff need to read. It really spoke to me on a lot of levels, and just drove this passion deeper inside of me!

Churchless is packed full of statist
Tim Floyd
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I tend to readily soak up research like this. Having read UnChristian, You Lost Me, and a countless research reports that Barna has put out on this subject; there was little information that was new in the subject. However, I did see this book as sort of an update from the You Lost Me book. While this book did included some overlap from You Lost Me, it also extended the conversation to include all "seekers" in general. I especially enjoyed the findings on those ...more
Min Soo Choi
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An enlightening statistical book that uses well-executed research and studies to give us insight into the trends of the American church as we move deeper into the 21st century.

Frankly, this book is for anyone who is interested in the cultural and religious shift that is happening in America. It affirms what we are all seeing and feeling, and specifically for the church, it gives us insight of how we can engage our culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ more effectively and with greater wisdom.
Jacob O'connor
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Crowd-source: Why don't you go to church? What would it take to get you there?

Churchless is striking. Barna shows the decline in church attendance. He gives some reasons why, and he offers some solutions. I agree with his conclusion. The church should focus on being the church. Growth will fall into place.


(1) Persuading people to align with a group losing popularity and influence.

(2) Recommends the church serve others with no thought of recompense. Do the right thing, and let God deal wit
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think every ministry leaders, church staff, and board members need to read this book. Churchlessness is on the rise in America. I was surprised to find that over twenty percent of the churchless are born again. The churchless are looking for the church to provide something they can find no where else: an experience of the presence of God. This book will really give faith communities something to think about as they evaluate what they are doing.
Don Hobbs
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very good statistical analysis. The point that the unchurched feel that:
(1) the sense that God is missing from church, and (2) the suspicion that Christians are missing the point was invaluable to me.
The need to live out your faith by helping those in need was very important also. I like how they tied in prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit in relation to how the unchurched view believers in Christ.
Troy Hooper
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Information

Sobering news about the churchless in the United States. This book contains highly relevant information for those who wish to understand who the churchless are and what they believe. Importantly, it also uses that information to suggest ways in which these individuals can be reached.
Aaron Bauer
interesting in its data not in its presentation. would have preferred the tables and figures with more talk about implication but at the same time that's what they do: research. its up to the church to decide what to do with it.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
This is an interesting book from an information stand point. It will definitely make you think about how people view church. It is not extremely helpful when it comes to how to deal with those people.
Ken Garrett
Thought provoking, challenging, and confirming of the changes and conditions that are to be observed in our surrounding culture today. Helpful advice given, without scolding or shaming.
Jason Patz
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it
A lot of stats with general observations. Less of the book was dedicated to conclusions or action plans but that is be expected. Interesting info on people who choose not to attend church and why.
Jon Beadle
Feb 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative and up to date. Helpful for anyone wishing to reach beyond the church walls.
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
This book had some really great insights!
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George Barna was raised and educated on the East Coast before moving to California in the early 1980s. He held executive positions in advertising, public policy, political campaigns, and media/marketing research before beginning his own company, the Barna Research Group (now The Barna Group), in 1984. The firm analyzes American culture and creates resources and experiences designed to facilitate m ...more

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“But a local body of believers is the only place they can meet God together with his people. What a privilege to facilitate encounters with God week after week! When it’s humble and sincere, it never gets old.” 1 likes
“Our studies consistently show a large majority of people leave their church’s service without feeling as though they have connected with God. If those who regularly attend depart with such disappointment and confusion, what must it be like for those who are new to the church adventure?” 1 likes
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