Essential Church Summary

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Essential Church? Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts is coauthored by the father, son team of Thom and Sam Rainer. Essential Church is the sequel to Simple Church co-written by Thom Rainer. The fundamental focus of the thesis in the book is why do young adults between the age of 18 and 22 dropout of church. The research revealed that more then 2/3 of young adult dropout of church because church is not essential in their lives. That is 70 percent dropout while 30 percent stay in church. Thom and Sam investigated this topic further with the question, what reasons did they provide for their departure. Ten reasons was given as to why they stop attending church. The common theme among more of the dropout was that they just did not see that
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The essential church is made up of four modules. To simplify, deepen, expect, and multiply.

Moreover, in order for the church to stop the exodus, churches will have to focus on the mid to late teens. Also the church must deal with the seven sins of a dying churches. 1. Doctrine dilution, 2. Loss of evangelistic passion, 3. Failure to be relevant, 4. Few outwardly focused ministries, this is when the churches focus turn inward to meeting the needs of those on the insiders only. 5. Conflict over personal preferences, this is the attitude which says things have to meet certain members approval. 6. The Priority of Comfort- ministries do not challenge the members. 7. Biblical Illiteracy.

The book is divided into two sections. The first section of the book examines why people leave the nonessential church, as demonstrated in chapter one where the young adults lost their connection with church. They did not desert their faith; instead they dropout of church. Contrary to what many parents believe youth do not leave church because of a desire for personal freedom, neither because they have lost their religion. The truth is God has converted them, but we have failed to disciple them (30). This is one of the crucial issues confronting the church today. We are
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Essential churches close the back door because they are not complex, shallow, have low expectation, and are not inward focus. Chapters seven through ten is the core of an essential church. The key is to simplify, deepen, expectation, and multiply: Simplify is getting the structure right through clarity - is when the process of making disciples is simple. For instance, our process at Progressive Baptist Church is connected to God, connected to others, and connected to serving this present age. It is so simple that our youth understand it and participate in serving this present age. Second, is movement- is sequential in helping people move through the process. The church is not congested and stagnant. Young adults are looking for a place where authentic and not artificial change takes place. Third in the process of simplifying is alignment- this is when everything in the church is aligned and working together. The church is moving in the same direction. The last feather in the process of simplifying is focus- is a commitment to keep the church from becoming

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