A book report, I wrote for one of my classes at Lee. Best book I have read about the Mosaic generation. This is just a little bit about the book. Every pastor and youth pastor should read this book.
You Lost Me by: David Kinneman
You Lost Me is a study by the Barna Group. David Kinneman is the president of Barna Group and he has done research for this book for the last five years. The age group that the research concerns is eighteen through twenty-nine year olds. This generation in the book is known as Mosaics. The book mainly addresses why so many young people are leaving the church during this age. The Barna Group did lots of surveys with young people who left the church, even when they grew up in church all their life. The book gives new ideas on how to reach this generation through the church in a more effective way.
The book is full of quotes and statistics that really stood out to me. It will be hard for me to just pick out three but to me the most important issues are mentoring, why people in this age group are leaving, and letting them live out their faith.
First, let’s look at relational experiences. Most young Protestants and Catholics do not recall having a meaningful friendship with an adult through their church, and more than four out of five never had an adult mentor (p.119-120). This is a huge problem in this generation. A lot of young people do not feel like they have a mentor. It even says in the book, that a lot of young adults say they have a good relationship with their parents but no mentors. Even at Catalyst, a conference I attended two weeks ago, Andy Stanley talked about how every church leader needed to mentor a young person. Stanley said that you should not leave your cup full but pour your cup into the next generation leader. Mentoring is a huge key issue missing in this generation. I know in my life, it is a huge part of my life that was missing for a long time. A lot of church leaders are starting to realize this and working to change this deficit. Stanley also mentioned at the end of his message that we are supposed to give the church to the next generation in better condition than we got it. Mentoring is not about knowing everything but just giving away everything you do know, and as a leader, you should always be learning new things and continually be pouring out.
Frequently nomads among the Mosaic generation say that leaving the church was less an intentional choice and more of a “slow fade,” a period of increasing detachment that took many months or years (p.63). This fact really shocked me! It made me start to ask questions like: Where did we go? Did they even believe in their faith? Did we preach them the bible? Were they afraid to ask questions? How did we not notice the “slow fade”? This makes me really think that we are not raising up disciples but raising up church goers that do not understand their faith. The book even talks about how young people are not being discipled, which means they are not rooted in the word of God and have no clue why they believe what they believe. This also tells me that the church does not recognize the spiritual state of young people but just notices their presence on Sundays. This shows that a lot of churches have no interest in uniting the generations. Towards the end of the book it also talks about how a lot of churches have gotten the mind set of quantity over quality. This shows that this young generation can see through the fakeness of churches. This fact alone should have every church reevaluate their approach to reach the next generation of not only church leaders but of this world.
The next few facts/quotes from young people go hand in hand with the last point I shared. “I want to find a way to follow Jesus that connects with the world I live in.” “I want to be part of a Christian community that is more than a performance one day a week.” Another is giving young adults an opportunity to put feet to their faith. Many of the deepest truths of Christianity become clear when we put our faith into action; in the doing, believing makes sense. (p.77, 78, and 197). The Mosaic generation does not just want to hear about faith, they want to see faith put into action. It is amazing, how many young people are eager to serve and take mission trips. They want to go out into the world and make a difference. This just shows that the church needs to give more chances to the young people to go out and serve and make a difference. They do not want to be stuck inside the four walls every week. They want to do more than just hear faith, they want to work and walk out their faith. I saw this more than ever when the storms came through Cleveland. So many young people just wanted to go out and help. The high schools met at their schools and went out and helped those who were affected by the storm. They did not just help one time but they were out there a few more times afterwards. I feel that his is one of the most willing to serve generation.
The book is really for pastors and church leaders, but the one concept I learned from the book is to look for a place to get involved in your church. Instead of complaining about circumstances, look for ways to get involved and make a difference. Complaining will not change anything but getting involved will show that you care about your church and want to serve the church the best way possible.
As you can see, this book has some hard facts that young people are dealing with. Those statistics can be changed through mentoring, changing the circumstances causing Mosaics leaving the church like discipling and teaching basic bible foundations, and encouraging and letting the Mosaics put their faith into action. Statistics/facts do not discourage but they encourage me, because it proves that there is a way to change those stats. This book gives hope to everyone because it points out the issues to help change the way we do church and to save a generation before we totally lose them.