The Five Real Reasons Young People Are Deconstructing Their Faith

Examing the young-adult church exodus

Joe Forrest
Backyard Church

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If you’re involved in ministry, you’ve probably heard a lot about “deconstruction” recently.

Framed as the new trendy threat to Christianity, deconstruction has become a “catch-all” term for a wide gamut of spiritual experiences. Depending on who’s using the word, deconstruction can be a complete demolition of Christian belief, a critical re-appraisal of one’s faith tradition, or an honest acknowledgment of doubt and questions.

It also doesn’t help that awareness of the “deconstruction movement” is gaining more visibility when church membership and religious affiliation in the West are at an all-time low.

According to Brian Zahnd in his book When Everything Catches Fire, deconstruction is “a crisis of Christian faith that leads to either a reevaluation of Christianity or sometimes a total abandonment of Christianity.”

So, first and foremost, deconstruction is not synonymous with deconversion. While everyone who deconverts from Christianity probably deconstructs first, not everyone who deconstructs deconverts. That’s a crucial distinction to make.

Second, it’s not helpful to refer to deconstruction as a “movement.” A movement implies a group of…

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Joe Forrest
Backyard Church

Joe Forrest writes on the intersection of faith, culture, secularism, and politics.