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Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches That Reach Them [Hardcover]

By Ed Stetzer (Author), Richie Stanley (Author) & Jason Hayes (Author)
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Item description for Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches That Reach Them by Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley & Jason Hayes...

Describes the characteristics of unchurched young adults and reveals which churches have found a way to reach these people.

Publishers Description

Who are the young unchurched, and how can they be reached with the good news of Jesus Christ?

In a poll result highlighted by CNN Headline News and "USA Today," nearly half of nonchurchgoers between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine agreed with the statement, "Christians get on my nerves." Now, researchers behind the larger study present "Lost and Found," a blend of dynamic hard data and modern day parable that tells the real story of an unchurched generation that is actually quite spiritual and yet circumspect, open to Jesus but not the church.

As such, "Lost and Found" is written to the church, using often-surprising results from the copious research here to strike another nerve and break some long established assumptions about how to effectively engage the lost. Leading missiologist Ed Stetzer and his associates first offer a detailed investigation of the four younger unchurched types. With a better understanding of their unique experiences, they next clarify the importance each type places on community, depth of content, social responsibility, and making cross-generational connections in relation to spiritual matters.

Most valuably, "Lost and Found" finds the churches that have learned to reach unchurched young adults by paying close attention to those key markers vetted by the research. Their exciting stories will make it clear how your church can bring searching souls from this culture to authentic faith in Christ.

Those who are lost can indeed be found. Come take a closer look."

Citations And Professional Reviews
Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches That Reach Them by Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley & Jason Hayes has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Library Journal - 04/01/2009 page 79

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Item Specifications...

Studio: B&H Books
Pages   232
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.6" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2009
Publisher   Broadman And Holman
Edition  New  
ISBN  0805448780  
ISBN13  9780805448788  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley & Jason Hayes

Ed Stetzer Ed Stetzer is the President of LifeWay Research, a prolific author, and well-known conference and seminar leader. Stetzer has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books.

Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the Executive Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 400,000 individuals each week. Stetzer is also Executive Editor of Facts & Trends Magazine, a Christian leadership magazine with a circulation of more than 70,000 readers.

Stetzer serves as Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has taught at many other colleges and seminaries.

He also serves as Lead Pastor of Grace Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., a congregation he planted in 2011.

Ed Stetzer currently resides in Gallatin.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Lost And Found?

Great and Informative Survey  Mar 23, 2010
One of the enigmas in American church life today is the combination of young adults who tend to consider themselves spiritual while at the same time staying away from church in droves. In order for the evangelical church to move forward, we need to at least confront this issue and see what there is to be done.

The prolific Stetzer, along with co authors Stanley and Hayes, and his research company, has compiled a well-researched and relatively easy to read account of who American young adults are, what they tend to believe about Jesus, and an informative survey of churches who are reaching young adults.

Among the accounts of the religious beliefs of young adults, this is certainly one of the more readable. That being said, it is far from simplistic. The book spends the first few chapters in statistical reflection, moves to several of the major themes they discovered, then moves to specific churches and their work to reach young adults.

There were several surprises and very usable bits of information that came from the first and second parts of the research and analysis. Even though the third section was aimed at the practical applications of several ministries, I wanted to hear more about the return of young adults to specifically reformed churches verses non-denominational churches. The approaches tend to be quite different.

All in all, it is a great book that would make for great reflection and discussion among church leaders or those simply interested in the general directions of our current culture.
Something isn't working and Ed has the numbers  Mar 14, 2010
Something isn't working. Families are going to church. Families are hearing the Word of God. Kids are turning into young adults. They are going away to college with years of church attendance under their belt and then something happens. They leave the church in many cases for good. Some kids never hear about the word of God, even though they have Christian friends. They have never been invited to church. Something isn't working.

Ed Stetzer has written a book that helps those who didn't know there was a problem- know there is a problem. In "Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them" he underlines in the first half of his book what Barna and Christianity Today- among an ocean of others- have been pointing to for years, that the 18 to 29 yr. old demographic is uninterested in church. He does this very well with a thoroughness often lacking in similarly themed books.

If this is a subject that is new to you, I highly recommend reading this book to acquaint yourself with this spiritual disaster.

This tragedy may be new to you, but not to our pastors. Those in the know, have overlooked this because these young adults usually come back to the church when they have kids. New studies now show that even with kids a significant number of young adults see no practical value in church and they aren't coming back. Something isn't working.

After effectively documenting the problem, "Lost and Found" offers in Part 2: Wrap Up, four makers of connecting with youth:

1. Community is important to emerging generations. They believe that life is meant to be experienced together, and they sense a need to be involved in genuine relationship with others.

2.Depth is next- they strive to be people of deep significance. They do this because they care about who they are and what they are becoming- "ankle deep" doesn't seem to work for them. They appreciate tough questions and despise pat answers.

3.Responsibility is a strong value because we know that their choices are different. Decisions are everywhere. Recycling. Sponsoring a child. Aid to Haiti. Love your neighbor. They've concluded that all of these decisions matter, but what matters most is how they respond.

4. Connection is the final need. They want to learn from those that have already experienced the things that they are going to engage in.

The greater implication is that these priorities are not evident in our churches today. Then what are we doing? OUCH!

Part 3 Reaching offers a series of nine common characteristics in churches that are reaching young adults.

1.Creating Deeper Community. Churches that are effective connect young adults into a healthy small group system.

2.Making a Difference through Service. Churches that are transforming young adults value leading people to serve through volunteerism. They want to be a part of something bigger.

3.Experiencing Worship.Churches that are engaging young adults are providing worship environments that reflect their culture while revering and revealing God. They want a vertical experience with God.

4.Conversing the Content. Churches that are lead by authentic communicators are drawing young adults into the message.

5.Leveraging Technology. Churches that are reaching young adults are willing to communicate in a language of technology familiar to young adults.

6.Building Cross-Generational Relationships. Churches that are linking young adults with older, mature adults are challenging young adults to move on to maturity through friendship, wisdom, and support.

7.Moving towards Authenticity. Young adults are looking for and connecting to churches where they see leaders that are authentic, transparent, and on a learning journey.

8.Leading by Transparency. Churches with incarnational leaders, those who express a personal sense of humanity and vulnerability, are influencing young adults.

9.Leading by Team. They see ministry not as a solo enterprise but a team sport.

"Lost and Found" works through all of these ideas one at a time with various degrees of depth. It offers insight and success stories. For the practical minded, success stories are encouraging, but not too helpful. What is missing, and some would argue beyond the scope of this book, is a big blast of "HOW?" How do we get a congregation to passionately embrace changing how it has approached church for decades? How do we get a congregation to look past its Christian cultural creature comforts, re-prioritize what it values and encourage passionate new priorities? How do we shift a church from what they know to what God wants them to be?

I often find failures more instructive than success. Books of this type rarely offer us a good look at failure. What is it that the church has believed for so long that has choked off the word of God to the point that our youth see no value in it? How have we turned the word of God into something we hear but rarely embrace? How have past generations of Christians failed this new generation of young adult and do they really what to help bring them to Christ? Until we acknowledge our collective sin, how can we move past it? How do you get an older generational church that has done church based on the past to embrace the future without analyzing its successes and failures?

"Lost and Found" offers some very good starting points for church leadership teams to pray over, discuss and act on. The strength of this book is the ideas it introduces us to. The weakness of this book is that the past attitudes that have created this sorry state are never addressed so we can implement a new approach. Perhaps it is seen as too divisive and not "encouraging," yet isn't acknowledging our failures a part of being "authentic, transparent and on a learning journey." If we can't get Christians to understand our mis-steps from the past(and there consequences), new ideas will have little formative effect.

Matthew 9:17 "Neither do men pour new wine into old wine skins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wine skins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wine skins, and both are preserved."

If you have read this far, I wish to thank you. I also pray that God lead you to something valuable in the book and in my post. God bless you my friend.
Good Book On What The Younger Unchurched Generation Are Thinking  Jul 18, 2009
"Lost and Found" is a good read for anyone wanting to learn more about:

1. What the unchurched younger generation (around 20-29 years of age) are looking for in a church.
2. What churches can do to reach them.
3. Examples of what churches are doing to reach out to them.
4. Why the unchurched are unchurched.

The book is broken down into 3 main areas:

1. Polling the unchurched younger generation and why they are not attending church (hint: largely because of what they see as the fair number of hypocrites in the church who are no different than those who do not go to church). The polling data also strongly suggests that the unchurched are extremely interested in spiritual matters but not in organized religion.

2. What the church can do to reach this generation:

A. Creating community (unchurched are really big on developing
relationships with others), creating depth in relationships (far
beyond discussions about the weather and sports).

B. Responsibility (the unchurched actually want to be challenged on
their religious beliefs and want to learn more about the Bible.
Unfortunately, too many churches are long on "feel good" content and
not enough on the Bible).

C. Cross-Generational Connection: The younger unchurched
generation would like to have older people disciple and tell them
more about spiritual matters. They have a willingness to learn.

3. Specific examples of what some churches are doing to reach out to the younger unchurched generation.

I agree with many of the authors' findings and conclusions:

1. One statement really hit home with me - "The self-serving generation of baby boomers" because I am one myself. The baby boomers, born around 1946-1964 (my wife and I are on the tail end) were described as being more concerned about having their own needs met. Our generation was born to parents who belonged to an earlier generation that believed in self-sacrifice and helping others. Since they sacrificed much so our baby boomer generation would prosper, that should not be that surprising to us. Quite frankly, our baby boomer generation does seem to be quite self-centered and these are the people who now hold many leadership positions in the church. The younger generation sees this self-centeredness and is put off by it.

2. The younger generation is very interested in spiritual matters - At a local community college I serve as an adjunct faculty. Typically I teach an Introduction to Old Testament class during the fall semesters and and Introduction to New Testament class during the spring semesters. Many of my students fall within the 20-29 year old range. I am scheduled to teach an Introduction to Old Testament class for the Fall 2009 semester. The semester does not start for another month and already the class is already closed! People are desparately seeking answers. I have only one word to say to those who believe younger people are not interested in spiritual matters: "Baloney!".

3. If the baby boomers can get out of their self-centeredness and reach out to the younger generation, we can be a valuable means of reaching them with the Gospel.

4. Churches that reach out to the younger generation will grow and prosper. Those that focus inward will wither up and die on the vine.

A great read for anyone wanting to know more the younger generation.

Read, enjoy, and be challenged. Highly recommended!
Lost and Found... What a Help!  Jun 17, 2009
I am continually amazed at the insight and understanding Ed S. has regarding the survey results he uses. Our church is beginning to focus more and more on the "lost generations".
A Good Resource For Those Trying To Reach the Next Generation and Understand How They Think  Jun 10, 2009
It's no secret that young adults are unplugging or never getting plugged into to a local church. LOST AND FOUND tackles this trend head-on to uncover the disconnect between them and the church.

The book is divided into three sections: the first examines who the unchurched population really is along with what they believe and think about spiritual issues; the second offers an analysis of ministry needs for the unchurched; and the third highlights churches that are reaching young adults and effectively engaging the emerging culture. Much of the data comes from three different research projects sponsored by the North American Mission Board and LifeWay Research.

One of the most interesting ideas Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley and Jason Hayes explore is that the unchurched are not a homogeneous group. They are diverse in their experiences and beliefs. The authors uncovered four types of unchurchd young adults: always unchurched (never been involved); de-churched (attended as a child); friendly unchurched (not particularly angry at the church); and hostile unchurched (angry at the church or have had negative experiences with the church).

Much of the research shows that while the unchurched acknowledge that God, or a higher supreme being, exists (81%), the majority also believe that the God of the Bible is no different from other gods or spiritual beings of varied world religions (58%). When it comes to churches reaching the unchurched, the research exposes that what leaders sometimes think the unchurched want versus what they really want are two different issues. For example, only 31% of respondents said they would attend a church if the music was similar to their personal tastes, and only 46% would be willing to join a small group to learn more about the Bible and Jesus. But 63% would want to attend a church that presented the truth in an understandable way that related to their life.

One of the refreshing things about LOST AND FOUND is what it does not do. The authors do not get distracted by trying to dive into a myriad of sidelining issues regarding what's wrong with the church or our belief system, nor do they try to paint a picture of what the church will look like in 50 years. Instead, the material remains unapologetically focused on two questions: Who are the young unchurched? And how can they be reached with the Good News of Jesus?

To this end, Stetzer, Stanley and Hayes explore nine common characteristics of churches who are successfully reaching the young unchurched. These congregations are intentional about creating a deeper community and making a difference through service. They create an atmosphere where young adults can experience worship and draw attendees with a conversational teaching style. Successful churches are not buying into the myth that young adults only want to hang out with themselves, and they're intentional about building cross-generational relationships. They're also not afraid to leverage technology, move toward authenticity, lead with transparency, or develop a team approach to leadership.

LOST AND FOUND is a good resource for those trying to reach the next generation and understand how they think.

--- Reviewed by Margaret Oines

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