Approximately 30 million people are “done” with today’s church, according to new research by sociologist Dr. Josh Packard, but they aren’t necessarily done with God. “They are giving up on an institution that they experience as irrelevant if not an impediment to their spiritual growth. While space does not allow a full examination of his work, two facets are particularly critical,” Presbyterian minister Patrick Vaughn writes in his analysis of Packard’s report.

“The Dones value community. Indeed, they deeply experience God in and through relationships with their brother and sisters. But sitting in rows and looking at the back of other people’s heads, as my wife has long argued, cannot nurture relationships! “This yearning for community first led the Dones to join the church, and to a significant degree that is exactly what they discovered: people like themselves in search of meaning and purpose whose faith connected them to one another. They did not and do not seek conformity. READ MORE