Statistics are fascinating to me, so I was excited to have the opportunity to read Barna Group’s book Churchless. Barna and Kinnaman do a good job in explaining the various groups of people they surveyed and the results. The book is laid out in such a way that you can review the charts and then read the dialog that explains it in more detail. Churchless presents to readers an analysis of its research, providing information relevant to better connect with those not involved in the American church. The data presented provides the reader with an opportunity to learn about those who are “unchurched” and “de-churched” (and what the difference is). The book offers questions to review the findings and reflect; allowing the reader to think and reflect about the information they read.
I would recommend this book to those who are interested in a snapshot on America’s population and how the population looks at the church. Depending on the readers background the results will either surprise you or confirm for you what is happening within the American church. If you work in ministry it provides insight that could prove helpful in reaching your community. The tools that have worked in the past are not working now, the book helps explain why and insights on what may be more effective. The reader is also shown how those who are in church and not in church answer the same questions regarding lifestyle. As someone who grew up in the church culture, it was helpful to me to get a glimpse into how people think through the data. It is eye opening to see how things have changed and how people answered the questions presented. I finished the book challenged to be intentional in how I connect with people, asking myself the question ‘Am I showing love as Jesus showed love.’
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishing in exchange for my opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”