John is every pastor’s dream member. He’s a life-long believer, well-studied in the Bible, gives generously, and leads others passionately.A researcher described them this way:
But last year he dropped out of church. He didn’t switch to the other church down the road. He dropped out completely. His departure wasn’t the result of an ugly encounter with a staff person or another member. It wasn’t triggered by any single event.
John had come to a long-considered, thoughtful decision. He said, “I’m just done. I’m done with church.”1
At Group’s recent Future of the Church conference, sociologist Josh Packard shared some of his groundbreaking research on the Dones. He explained these de-churched were among the most dedicated and active people in their congregations. To an increasing degree, the church is losing its best.2Why they are leaving has variously been described in two ways:
- They can no longer tolerate the poor doctrine being taught from the pulpit, or they believe the modern institution of church has veered away from God's plan for his church—the body of Christ
- They are fatigued with the routine; they don't feel they get anything out of going to church and don't feel church is relevant to them today
Both MGTOW and The Dones have rational and logical reasons for their actions. Reasons they are willing to talk about and debate with others in a calm and intelligent manner. Both groups are open to fixing the problems that caused them to “go their own way.”
Unfortunately, the critics of both MGTOW and The Dones either don't get it, or don't want to get it. They don't want to debate the issues and they certainly don't want to discuss the idea that they (the critics) might be part of the problem. They simply want things to go back to the way they have been.