If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recall last year I reviewed a book by David Kinnaman titled Un-Christian, which was co-authored with Gabe Lyons. In that book they delved into the realm of exploring why “un-Christians” or “outsiders” as they were also called, did not go to church or were turned off by the Christian faith. This time, I want to share with you another book that David Kinnaman wrote, called You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church… And Rethinking Faith.
This book could actually be viewed as a sequel or a companion book to the first book I mentioned. Where Un-Christian looked at those who are “outsiders” or those who have no history or connection to the Christian faith, especially millennials; You Lost Me dares to look at the issues surrounding why young Christians, especially millennials are either questioning and even turning away from the faith.
What’s not surprising is that for many, according to Kinnaman, the same reasons given by Un-Christians who are not attracted by Christianity; these are the same reasons why young Christians are unhappy or walking away from Christianity. What is surprising is the way in which Kinnaman has classified and defined exactly who these “lost ones” are. He classifies them as either, Prodigals, Nomads, or Exiles. Within these classifications, he clarifies many of their angst and what contributes to them being or feelings of being lost.
As this book is broken into three specific parts, the second section of this book pivots into looking at the reasons for their disconnections. In the same way that the Un-Christians had six primary reasons why they were unattracted to Christianity, Kinnaman highlights six key reasons for young Christians feeling lost. What I personally found interesting were the many anecdotes that spoke to how some who had doubts about their faith were being helped to overcome those doubts and how we who are faithful can help those who are questioning or have questions about their own faith walk can come to a sense of peace and be strengthened in their walk.
As might be expected, the final section of the book’s focus is in giving some helpful insights on ways Christians can be more proactive in helping these young Christians find their way home. First, David points out that many of the strategies aren’t as foreign of an idea as we might think. One thing in particular that he says in this section is that “Our dropout problem is in essence a disciple making problem.”
Second, he presents a vast number of things that can be implemented to help find this lost generation. Like a good shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to find the one, David’s hope is that those who are strong can pursue, find, and be the shoulder that lifts up those who are weak.
I would highly recommend this book for any pastor, especially youth pastors who are especially tasked with the duties of shepherding young hearts. I would also recommend this for parents who are having trouble with their own children, knowing that they may be struggling in their faith walk. This is great for the evangelist and anyone who is missional at heart, with a desire to see young lives restored, redeemed, refreshed, and revived. After reading this, you may even want to go back and consider the other book that speaks to reaching the Un-Christian. As far as I am concerned, this book is a must if you know without a doubt that you have been called to the ministry of reconciliation.
QUESTION: Have you encountered a young Christian who is plainly stating, “You Lost Me”? How are you handling it?