What Are “Dones” Looking for Why Are They Leaving Church?

Author, Thom Shultz, sums it up this way: “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.”

Sometimes Christians get to the point where they say, “I’m ,” and then drop out of altogether. This is happening so much nowadays that it has become a social trend. Sometimes the people who do that are called “de-churched,” or “church refugees;” but the most common label they are known by is “.”

Usually, Dones are deeply committed Christ-followers who are longing for more than they have found in the traditional church format. Normally Dones aren’t walking away from Christ or even . Instead, they are leaving the institutional church because they want more than they are finding there.

So why are the Dones flying away from church? What do they want? What are they looking for?

  1. Dones want a heart-to-heart connection with other believers. They are tired of being passive spectators and looking at the backs of people’s heads in front of them. They want to really get to know their sisters and brothers in Christ.
  2. Dones are looking for encouragement and support. The life is not an easy way to live and Dones have discovered that weekly teaching that is often repetitive, doesn’t prepare them to victoriously walk with Christ in daily life. They realize they need an atmosphere of mutual caring, interaction, and support.
  3. Dones are searching for usefulness. However, they realize that the typical church service has no need for them and no room for their input. They want to the gifts that has given them to minister to others, and they realize that they need interactive, hands-on training in using their spiritual gifts.
  4. Dones desire spiritual experience. They don’t want to be spectators watching a human being give a lecture about God. They want to be in an environment where the resurrected is free to and work among His people. They are tired of seeing Jesus as a mere figurehead and want Him to be the literal Head of the meeting.
  5. Dones are looking for equality in the body of Christ. They have experienced religious authoritarianism and are tired of high sounding titles and demanding leaders. They want the freedom to listen to God and then say/or do what He tells them to. They want Spirit-led meetings.
  6. Dones want reality in . They are seeking more than the outward forms of ritual, programs, pious platitudes, religious entertainment, and/or liturgy. That’s why millions of Dones are courageously obeying the ’s words in 2 Timothy 3:5: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.”

Author, , sums it up this way: “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.”

For more about how “Dones” like to meet, google my book: “Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia.”


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By Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @

5 replies on “What Are “Dones” Looking for Why Are They Leaving Church?”

Well said, David. I agree. Why be spectators when there is so much to do?

My standard speech is that I just got tired of sitting in the grandstands watching the game go on down in the stadium, and decided I could go there and play, too. It was so much fun and rewarding, now I try to encourage others to get up, get out, and get going. There’s plenty enough to do.

Thanks for the comment, Ron. I think you missed my point. I am speaking up for Dones. Churches have ignored us far too long. We are not asking for anything unreasonable. If churches don’t want to die out in the 21st century, they need to listen to us Dones and make some biblical changes, like beginning to obey 1 Corinthians 14:26 and allowing everyday people to speak out in meetings when they are prompted by the Spirit. As far as 2 Timothy 3:5, goes, I quoted it correctly and complimented Dones for obeying it and courageously turning away from powerless religion. Blessing to you!

I am not sure what your point is that you are making. I am one of those done with church been in church 40 yrs all kinds and they are all like a restaurant menu. Year in and year out the menu is the same and every now and then they have a new appetizer to appeal to your senses.
3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, a unholy,
(a) Who make no account, either of right or honesty.
3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: 2 from such turn away.
(2) We must not tarry with those men who resist the truth not from simple ignorance, but from a perverse mind, (which thing appears by their fruits which he graphically displays here); rather, we must turn away from them.

This is of course 2 Timothy 3, either you are misquoting it or you are saying the dones are self-absorbed. I am not denying the power of Christ but the fabrication of mans church outside of Christ. No where in the New Testament does it say that Christ designated a particular church. Correct me if I am wrong what was your premise.

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