In recent weeks a lot of digital ink has been spent discussing an emerging demographic in Christianity. A growing number of believers are walking away from their local churches. But these are not people only nominally involved with their local church. These aren’t “pew warmers”. They aren’t people abandoning their faith. They are the people who are often the most involved attendees and some of the most generous givers. I’ve asked my friend, Stacy, to share his thoughts on the emerging demographic being labeled the “dones.”
Stacy Tyson is General Director and Teacher of Truth Seekers Fellowship. He is husband to Jill and father to Hannah and Sara Michal. They live in Memphis, TN.
The fact that they are calling this group the “dones” is very telling. What’s being said is very interesting and is stirring up the right issues. Church has become more about what we “do” and growing numbers of people have had enough. Most modern churches are very consumer-oriented, which ultimately leads to everyone being dissatisfied and even those who serve on church staffs getting consumed.
A big part of this is related to a shift in our identity as Christians. We don’t go to church, we are the church. When “church” is taken on as our identity it changes the fundamental way we think about everything. What has happened with Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill ought to be a real wakeup call, but I don’t think it will be. The Lord is shaking things up to free us all from our idolatry of men and institutions in order to prepare us for the hard days ahead. I have been “done” with simply going to church for years; this past year I let go of a Sunday school class I had been teaching for nine years and we have just moved on.
I don’t know what we are going to do yet, but I just cant do the “show” anymore. I don’t know what’s coming next, but I believe that what these articles are pointing to is a growing number of people who may be freed up to pursue a simpler, more effective and fruitful form of being disciples and being THE Church.