Church: Why the mass exit?

An entire generation is leaving the church. But why? Is it the way we relate to God… life overunder, or even for Him? What’s the difference and what if the next generation pursued life with God?

Church practitioners have been sent scrambling by the growing awareness that an entire generation is leaving the church. Many have attempted to answer why they are leaving, but few are offering solutions to stop the mass exit.

Author Skye Jethani says the answer might be changing the way we’re relating to God. Instead of lifeoverunder, or even for God, he says this generation should pursue life with God.

Skye Jethaniis an ordained pastor, author, editor, and speaker. He serves as the senior editor of Leadership Journal, a publication of Christianity Today International. Leadership equips pastors and church leaders for the challenges of ministry in a complex world. In this role, Skye not only has the opportunity to engage many of Christianity’s most influential leaders, but also translate their thoughts into practical help for those struggling to live faithfully in a rapidly shifting culture. Skye also contributes regularly to other resources within the Leadership Media Group including Out of Ur and Building Church Leaders, he is a “Featured Preacher” on PreachingToday.com, and his writing has also been published in Relevant, Neue Quarterly, and The Washington Post‘s “On Faith” website. He also blogs regularly for The Huffington Post. Skye has also been a featured commentator on radio programs including Moody Radio’s Prime Time America and Chicago Pulic Radio’s Vocolo. He has also been in newspapers around the country on issues of faith, culture, and the church. Skye’s first book, The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity, was released by Zondervan in 2009.

Prior to his editorial role with Leadership, Skye served for six years in full-time pastoral ministry at Blanchard Alliance Church in Wheaton, Illinois. During this time he helped Blanchard launch a second congregation in Warrenville, Illinois, and wrestle with questions of mission and spiritual formation in a postmodern, post-Christian culture. Skye continues to preach at Blanchard and at churches and conferences around the country. Read more about his speaking schedule and availability.

Training

Skye is ordained in the Christian & Missionary Alliance, a Protestant Christian denomination started in 1887 with a focus on international missions. The C&MA has approximately 500,000 members in the US and Canada, and an additional 3 million in 75 other countries. He earned a Masters of Divinity degree in 2001 from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. While at Trinity, Skye served as a pastoral intern at Libertyville Evangelical Free Church and a student chaplain at Lake Forest Hospital. He also participated as a volunteer at the South Asian Friendship Center in the Roger’s Park neighborhood of Chicago. Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, is where Skye conducted his undergraduate studies in History and Comparative Religion with a focus on Islamic history and theology. He also studied Buddhism, Judaism, and Early Christianity.

Family

Skye and his wife, Amanda, have been friends since high school. They were married in 1999 and currently live in Wheaton, Illinois, with their three children Zoe, Isaac, and Lucy. Skye’s father immigrated to the United States from India in 1970 to complete his medical training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. His mother was a nurse and a native of Chicago. Growing up in a multi-ethnic home gave Skye a diverse outlook and broad exposure to cultures. Before college he had already traveled to nearly 30 foreign countries on 5 continents. Skye grew up in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and graduated from Glenbard South High School.

What kind of name is Skye, anyway?

It’s a nickname. His given name is Akash, a Hindi name that means sky in English. Since birth his family has called him Skye, although he still doesn’t know who decided to ad the -e.