‘Dones’ are a group that is on the rise in western culture, it seems to me. Not long ago I read a book entitled The Rise of the Nones, which spoke of that group who on a census when asked their religion mark the selection ‘None’. There seems to be a deluge of another group these days as well, the Dones.
The ‘Dones’ are a group that consider themselves to be evangelical Christians, but for any number of reasons they have left the church.Two conversations that I have had with individuals this past week are illustrative of this reality. One was a close friend who had left a church he had been a member of for the last 15 years. I asked him if he had found a new church home, and he said, “My wife and I are really enjoying visiting different churches. It is very tempting,” he continued,”to not join a church. It is refreshing to enjoy the worship music and the preaching without being a part of the politics or knowing the ‘dirt’ about the inside workings of the church’s life.”
The other conversation was with a lady who considers herself to be a good Christian. We had recently met and so I asked, “Where do you and your husband attend church?” “We don’t,” she said. “We did, but we had a bad experience, so we quit. Our church life now is watching on TV.”
These two are illustrative on many who are saying, “Been there, done that, but not anymore. It brings to mind an old joke I heard. Seems a woman came into the bedroom and woke her husband saying, “It’s time to get ready for church.” “Oh, I am not going,” he replied. “Why not?” she inquired.“For two very good reasons. I don’t like the people there, and they don’t like me,” replied the man. “Well, you are going, and I will give you two good reasons,” she said. “It’s the right thing to do, and you are the pastor.”
I believe there are increasing numbers who are tired of going to church and getting caught up in debates over worship style, political arguments, and endless business sessions. People seem to be sick and tired of churches that are operated more like social clubs. We could list in detail multitudes of stories of people’s experience in a church.
What might happen if we sought to rediscover the organic nature of the church on the pages of the New Testament? Regardless of the form that our structure takes, the church is not really a church if there is not the life of the Holy Spirit driving all that it does. Watch for more to come on this “Deluge of the Dones.”