Rev. Bill Barksdale: It’s time to go back to church

 Rev. Bill Barksdale

Bill Barksdale

In their recently published book, “The Great Dechurching,” (Zondervan, August 2023) authors Jim Davis and Michael Graham present a troubling picture of Christian attendance and participation.

They write, “More people (45 million) have left the church in the last 25 years than all who became Christians from the First Great Awakening, Second Great Awakening, and Billy Graham crusades combined.”

They coin the word “dechurched” to describe those who formerly attended church on a regular basis, but for various reasons now attend only once or twice a year, if at all. These are people who would still describe themselves as spiritual and adhere to core Christian tenets, but who no longer participate in weekly worship or fellowship.

The dechurched have created a generation of younger people who now make up the largest percentage of any group — the “religious nones” (those who describe themselves as not affiliated with any religious organization or denomination.) As of 2021, the number of “nones” in the U.S. had grown to nearly 30% of the population while professing Christians constituted 63%, down from

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