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Publisher's Summary

Why do so many young adults (18 to 22) leave the church, and what will it take to bring them back?

This important question is examined and duly answered in Essential Church?, a follow-up to Thom S. Rainer's best-selling Simple Church co-written with his son, research expert Sam Rainer.

The book is based on a study of 1,000 so-called "church dropouts" who were interviewed about why they left. Their answers are quite surprising, having less to do with "losing their religion" and more about the desire for a community that isn't made stale by simply maintaining the status quo. In turn, the Rainers offer churches four concrete solutions toward making their worship community an essential part of these young people's lives again:

  • Simplify - develop a clear structure and process for making disciples.
  • Deepen - provide strong biblical teaching and preaching.
  • Expect - let members know the need for commitment to the congregation.
  • Multiply - emphasize evangelism, outward focus, and starting new churches.
  • ©2008 christianaudio.com; 2008 Thom Rainer

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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars

    Most thorough, practical and incisive book on reinventing your ministry

    These authors are clearly very experienced yet they seem to have a fresh perspective on the realities affecting church today. I like how they acknowledge that even best practices may not apply uniformly to every congregation or community. Some of the research findings cited here about the departure of youth from church is really interesting. I recommend this book to ministers who need a reset in their declining ministries or even those who want their healthy congregations to be more robust.

    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Justin
    • Modesto, CA, USA
    • 03-12-09

    An Essential Book For Essential Churches

    This book was very good...challenged my view on several things, and overall was a great book!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful