Paul Fromont is published in the August edition of EmergingChurch.info where his article Away From and Toward: Emerging Hope and the Dreaming of Dreams now appears. Helpful, thoughtful stuff for those seeking to further understand this mass church exodus wherein people are leaving, and they’re taking their faith with them, thank you very much. The article:
For all sorts of reasons, people are leaving the church. Some leave their faith behind as well, a number even find a stronger, more mature faith outside the church.
Iâ€™ve chosen to explore, in practice, what New Zealand Baptist Pastor and Sociologist Alan Jamieson terms â€œa churchless faith.â€? Iâ€™ve chosen to move away from particular types and experiences of church, and toward new possibilities, new hope, and new dreams.
For me, the choice to leave the congregation I had belonged to for many years was definitely not an easy or straightforward one. It was, in my case, neither a rejection of Christianity nor a â€œgoing backâ€? on my belief that the Church, in all its forms and locations, is a vital and important part of Godâ€™s loving and redemptive purposes. Rather, my leaving in 2004 was the result of my needing to â€œsurviveâ€? a particular expression of church and come out of that experience with some hope that one-day I would again want to belong to a church in a very earthed and practical way. Over the course of my journey out of church (my â€œdrifting awayâ€? as one person baldly described it) I was propelled onwards by both growing clarity and also, paradoxically, by continuing questions, doubt, and uncertainty. So what dimensions of my church experience were significant motivators in my decision to leave?
Well, don’t quit now — keep reading….