The Great Dechurching

Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back?

by Jim Davis, Michael Graham, Ryan P. Burge, Collin Hansen

On Sale: 2023-08-22

Book Summary

In The Great Dechurching, Jim Davis and Michael Graham along with renowned sociologist Dr. Ryan Burge examine the largest and most comprehensive study of dechurching--the largest and fastest religious shift in US history--to drill down to exactly why people are dechurching with respect to beliefs, behavior, and belonging.

About the Book

We are currently experiencing the largest and fastest religious shift in US history.

It is greater than the First and Second Great Awakening and every revival in our country combined...but in the opposite direction. Yet precious little rigorous study has been done on the broad phenomenon of dechurching in America. Jim Davis and Michael Graham have commissioned the largest and most comprehensive study of dechurching in America by renowned sociologists Dr. Ryan Burge and Dr. Paul Djupe.

The Great Dechurching takes the insights gleaned from this study to drill down on how exactly people are dechurching with respect to beliefs, behavior, and belonging.

This book gives the church in America its first ever deep dive into the dechurched phenomenon. You'll learn about the dechurched through a detailed sketch of demographics, size, core concerns, church off-ramps, historical roots, and the gravity of what is at stake. Then you'll explore what can be done to slow the bleed, engage the pertinent issues winsomely and wisely, and hopefully re-church some of the dechurched.


'Few things break my heart like watching friends leave the church behind. The Great Dechurching starts with bad news: I'm not alone. But there's still hope. Using insights drawn from Jim Davis and Michael Graham's writing, we've welcomed hundreds of dechurched people into our local church community, where they can encounter Jesus and construct life-changing relationships.'

'In The Great Dechurching, Jim Davis and Michael Graham with researcher Ryan Burge do just that, and their diagnosis is generally not encouraging. But the book does far more than offer an empirical diagnosis. They offer a plan of care for the church that can lead to renewed life in our churches, the return of many dechurched, and a greater gospel impact in our world. '

'Many Christian leaders and commentators have commented on trends in American church life. All of them will find something in The Great Dechurching that surprises them. But the appeal of this book isn't just bound up in the data it shares, as valuable as that is. Graham and Davis offer much in the way of shrewd analysis of the data and sober reflection on what it means for the life of the church in America. That analysis and reflection both elevate the book and offer to followers of Jesus a vision for how the next chapter of the Christian movement in America can be better than the one now coming to a close.'

'If you know someone who used to go to church and now doesn't, this book is for you. Jim Davis and Michael Graham have written a timely, necessary, and extremely beneficial resource that will compel and prepare those of us in the church to reach out to those who have left. The Great Dechurching is full of robust research that offers real hope and true help. This might be one of the most significant books you will read. May God use it to call many back to his beloved bride, the church.'

'Every church leader--either lay leader or ordained--needs to read this book to understand who is leaving churches, why they are leaving, and what it will take to bring them back. The Great Dechurching overflows with practical wisdom about the sobering reality of dechurching. While there is top level assessment of the numbers, the heart of the book is about people we all know and love. I am giving copies of this book to the clergy in the diocese where I serve, and I will assign it for the seminary courses I teach.'

'This book is a clarion call, but it is not without hope or counsel. Instead of the mere pragmatism that often characterizes projects like this, the authors offer theological, confessional, and catechetical recommendations with ecclesiological convictions. The reader will still have to do the hard work of application to his or her own situation, but the reflection and action this book will spark could be significant. God is always up to something in moments like this, and we want to respond in wisdom and faithfulness to be instruments for his good purposes.

Product Details

  • Imprint: Zondervan
  • On Sale: 2023-08-22
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2023-08-22
  • Trim Size: 145.000mm x 221.000mm x 21.000mm
  • Weight: 421.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Christian Church / General
  • Category 2 : RELIGION / Christian Life / Social Issues
  • Category 3 : RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Evangelism
  • Category 4 : RELIGION / Christian Church / Growth