Who are the young unchurched, and how can they be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ?
In a poll result highlighted by CNN Headline News and USA Today, nearly half of nonchurchgoers between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine agreed with the statement, "Christians get on my nerves." Now, researchers behind the larger study present Lost and Found, a blend of dynamic hard data and modern day parable that tells the real story of an unchurched generation that is actually quite spiritual and yet circumspect, open to Jesus but not the church.
As such, Lost and Found is written to the church, using often-surprising results from the copious research here to strike another nerve and break some long established assumptions about how to effectively engage the lost. Leading missiologist Ed Stetzer and his associates first offer a detailed investigation of the four younger unchurched types. With a better understanding of their unique experiences, they next clarify the importance each type places on community, depth of content, social responsibility, and making cross-generational connections in relation to spiritual matters.
Most valuably, Lost and Found finds the churches that have learned to reach unchurched young adults by paying close attention to those key markers vetted by the research. Their exciting stories will make it clear how your church can bring searching souls from this culture to authentic faith in Christ.
Those who are lost can indeed be found. Come take a closer look.
About the Authors
Ed Stetzer has planted churches in New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia and transitioned declining churches in Indiana and Georgia. He has trained pastors and church planters on five continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books. Ed is a columnist for Outreach Magazine and Catalyst Monthly, serves on the advisory council of Sermon Central and Christianity Today's Building Church Leaders, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. Ed is Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has taught at fifteen other colleges and seminaries. He also serves on the Church Services Team at the International Mission Board. Ed is currently interim teaching pastor of First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, TN. Ed's primary role is President of LifeWay Research and LifeWay’s Missiologist in Residence.
Richie Stanley is a team leader at the North American Mission Board's Center for Missional Research in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Jason Hayes is the young adult ministry specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources where he serves as a leading voice and face for Threads, the organization's young adult initiative.