Recently, I read an article by Thom Schultz called “The Rise of the Dones”.  The article  does an amazing job of describing one of the groups of people that LK10 is called to serve.

Who are the Dones?

This term, coined by sociologist, Josh Parker, describes a growing group of people who have for years been “among the most dedicated and active people in their congregations”.    But, these folks have reached a tipping point of frustration and exhaustion where they are now saying.  “I’m done.  I’m done with church.”  

Why are they done?

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 9.48.19 AMPackard explains it this way, “After sitting through countless sermons and Bible studies, they feel they’ve heard it all.   “I’m tired of being lectured to. I’m just done with having some guy tell me what to do”…The Dones are fatigued with the Sunday routine of plop, pray and pay. They want to play. They want to participate. But they feel spurned at every turn.”

“They are leaving the church to preserve their faith.”

Reggie McNeal, in The Present Future, says something similar.  “A growing number of people are leaving the institutional church for a new reason.  They are not leaving because they have lost faith.  They are leaving the church to preserve their faith.  They contend that the church no longer contributes to their spiritual development.  In fact, they say, quite the opposite is true.  The number of “post-congregational” Christians is growing.  David Barrett, author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, estimates that there are 112 million “churchless Christians” world wide, about 5 percent of all adherents, but he projects that number will double in the next twenty years!”  p. 5.


What does the LK10 Community have to do with the Dones? 


These are some of the very people LK10 is called to serve.  We hear their stories over and over.  Here’s just one recent email from a lady in Canada:  

About 8 years ago, God just made it very clear to my husband and myself that we were to reach out to our community via home gatherings for there were so many people that would not consider going to a church building.  We went to our pastor and deacons to share with them the direction God seemed to be  leading us in and to see if we could work together in this venture.  They would have nothing of it so we quietly finished all our obligations at the church…..we were youth workers, Sunday School teachers and Superintendent, deacon……and slowly faded away for we did not want to cause any harm.  Funny thing….we thought this was a whole new idea God had given to us and we found out that instead of being the head, we were the tail for God was drawing people in this direction and had been for years!!!!

What can you do?

1.  Help us with our new website.  We are building a new website which will make it easier for the Dones to find us.  We need $5000 for that project.  Ask the Lord about making an end of the year contribution towards the website.  Here’s how to give…




2.  Send this post to someone you know who is a Done.  Let them know that there is a place where they can find support and equipping for a way of doing church that they have been longing for.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 9.45.27 AM3. Send this post to a traditional church leader.  Josh Packard says that pastors and church leaders are “sitting on a ticking time bomb. The exodus of the Dones, the rise of the Nones, and the disappearance of the Millennials do not look good for a church afraid to listen.”     We are finding a growing number of these traditional church leaders who recognize the problem and are open to new ways of thinking.  LK10 is beginning to work with some of these leaders.

4.  Read the whole article.  To read “The Rise of the Dones” go here:   

5.  Tell us your thoughts about reaching out to the Dones.  Scroll down to “Leave a Reply”.



12 Responses

  1. I agree, Dan! As I read church history, it seems that the Lord frequently moved His people out in new directions. John Wesley, for instance, worked with thousands of people who were saying that they were “done” with the church of their day.

  2. “They would have nothing of it”

    This response alone is an indicator that the “dones” were a threat to the church leadership’s power base and control. Much of our current traditional church model and practice in America is based on state church models. If it were up to some of these same church leaders I would not be surprised if they would chain the Bible to the pulpit and prevent the “laymen” from advancing in knowledge in order to keep “their” congregants in the pews where they feel they belong. May there be a great awakening. I have been saying for a long time now that we need a Spiritual Revolution.

      1. No doubt a worthy and needed prayer- mine as well. God will draw the line in the sand between himself and mammon. It is up to his servants to choose the side of the LORD.

    1. Rob, just read your post on the “dones” (as well as some of your history with the church). What an amazing collection! Thank you. I had no idea so many people were writing about this. Don’t know if you had a chance to look at our website but would welcome any perspective you would like to offer on what we are up to.

  3. I’m a boomer, and my wife and I joined the DONES just over a year ago. We became nauseated by the never ending drama of church politics.

    What you see at any church on Sunday is a show. If you REALLY and TRULY want to know what’s going on with any church, go to the board meetings. You’ll see things you can never unsee. Big churches, home churches, none are immune to drama.

    To be perfectly fair, there was a final straw for us. When us ‘older adults’ were encouraged (LOL!) to shutup and stay out of sight of the 20 and 30 somethings who might be visiting, they soon got what they wanted – many of us walked away. My wife and I resigned from every church function , we returned keys, ledgers, maintenance records, website documentation, and we joined the DONES.

    Angry much ? Ubetcha.

    1. I certainly understand your anger (and pain). Clearly, you and your wife had invested a great deal in church as you had known it. (I was a pastor in institutional churches for 25 years so I have a good idea of how things look on the inside!) The part about how you were treated as “older adults” (I’m a boomer also) is particularly aggravating. The biblical model is that older more mature believers should be honored as those who have much to offer those who are younger.

      So, what I’m wondering is if you are interested in channeling your anger into something constructive. The house church model is no guarantee of health. However, the structure itself doesn’t necessarily promote unhealthy practices as is often true in building centered churches. Would you be willing to watch a short video interview with a mature couple like yourselves who, like you were DONES. Take a look here:

      Then, if you want to pursue this, shoot me an email here:

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