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June 09 , 2009

Church Refugees

Sociologists reveal why people are DONE with church but not their faith


They’re called The Dones. After devoting a lifetime to their churches, they’re walking away. Why? Sociologists Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope reveal the results of a major study about the exodus from the American church. And what they’ve discovered may surprise you... -Church refugees aren’t who you’d expect. Among those scrambling for the exits are the church’s staunchest supporters and leaders. -Leaving the church doesn’t mean abandoning the faith. Some who are done with church report they’ve never felt spiritually stronger. -The door still remains open—a crack. Those who’ve left remain hungry for community and the chance to serve—and they’re finding both. Sifting through hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews, Packard and Hope provide illuminating insights into what has become a major shift in the American landscape. If you’re in the church, discover the major reasons your church may be in danger of losing its strongest members—and what you can do to keep them. If you’re among those done with church, look for your story to be echoed here. You’re not alone—and at last you’re understood. Share your story at

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