This one is noteworthy. Alan Jamieson publishes an study titled “Friends Exploring the Frontiers of Faith: A study of post-church groups in New Zealand.”
The first time I visited ‘Group #8’ I was met at the door by one of the children of the host family and taken into the living room to meet others who had arrived early. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and seemed very at ease in each other’s company, yet also happy to have a visitor. Food was cooking in the kitchen and others were bringing food with them as they arrived.
The meeting he describes sounds not unlike those of the group of which we’re a part. For those asking the question of who is leaving the church and why, this study provides a solid set of specific answers. Although it’s based in New Zealand, I would not expect the results in Canada (or the USA, etc.) to differ widely… for North America, perhaps more concrete information will be available in September. In any event, a lot of Alan Jamieson’s article resonates with me.