Brian Sanders on Disillusioned Christians

We could fill stadiums in every major city with people who have been burned or wounded by bad churches. But you never see them. You never hear them, because the first thing a leaver loses is her voice. In the corners of every city are believers who are no longer visible to churchgoers; they have no platform to speak from, no committee meetings to make their point heard, no friendship with the pastor to get a change made. They are isolated and unorganized. Yet they are an army. In my mind they represent the prophetic hope for the church because they understand perhaps as well or better than anyone what the church needs, where it’s failing and what can make it a place of life and joy again.

— Brian Sanders, Life After Church: God’s Call to Disillusioned Christians

In Memoriam: Kenneth Leech
Concerning Emergence, Contemplation, and the Faith of the Future
Concerning Sheep, Goats, and the Unconditional Love of God
Simplicity and Silence
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Sue

    Damn right.

    And they blog.

  • Carl McColman

    Actually, blogging may represent the first “voice” that wounded or disillusioned ex-churchgoers have ever had.

  • Andrew

    I do identify with this!!!

    I recently put up a posting here.

    I used the metaphor a nomadic tribe to describe a alternative concept for community.

    Thanks again for your wonderful site

  • Riverwolf

    All too true. But I don’t know if I’m so much disillusioned as I feel that I’ve “outgrown” the church. I’m still an active member of a local church but attend less and less. The main reasons are that I don’t find any outlet for expressions of my faith, no safe place to ask the questions I have. My church is great and I love spending time with the people there. To some degree, maybe we get the churches we deserve, and instead of not showing up for services, maybe those of us who feel “disillusioned” need to be more involved than ever before.

  • Carl McColman

    Brian Sanders addresses the issue of “outgrowing” the church in his book as well.

  • kay

    I haven’t been to church in 8 years mostly because of what I experienced there, and what I’m afraid I’ll experience again.

    It doesn’t happen only in churches though. Even the Christian blogosphere is not immune to it. Substitute the word ‘church’ with the word ‘web’ or ‘blogosphere’ in the quote above. There is still an “in crowd” that (even if unintentionally) shuts out and isolates others.

    It seems to be human nature. That highlights the importance of letting the spirit do the work on each person from the inside out. :)


  • Peter

    Yes, Kay, from the inside out is how the Spirit always works anyway, has to work; it’s the way life happens…
    not that the outside is unimportant: the wine does need wineskins or it ALL gets spilled. But I have found that it’s wise to hold loosely to the structures we build, and to do our best to value the life, the treasure inside, more than the clay pots…
    (sorry for all the mixed metaphors. this is not my poetry day!)

  • joe

    is it really possible that jesus is the son of god? the immaculate conception ? the older i get the harder it is to believe it.. i am reconciled to the fact that jesus was the greatest socialist of that period in time and was punished for it…