Already Gone by Ken Ham & Britt Beemer with Todd Hilliard [Master Books, 2009]

Already Gone by Ken ham Why your kids will quit church & what you can do to stop it.”

Let me just cut to the chase. This book is shocking on one level. On another it’s really quite unsurprising – expected even.

It’s been said that upwards of 80% of church kids graduate from church when they graduate from high school. A lot of reasons have been thrown out for this horrid trend: things involving worship styles [are we not entertained?], small groups [we had such hopes!], sermon lengths [soundbyte theology or filler material for the music program?: you decide], “relevance” [It took me 6 months of enthusiastic research to realize that the relevant movement is pretty much embarrassed to be a part of the church and that the movement as a whole is trendy but in the end mostly irrelevant to the question] and whether or not the idea of a youth group as it’s done today is even Scriptural much less effective [are we just providing them with a more or less safe place to socialize and play with a little bit of Bible thrown in?] – and so on and so forth.

Ken Ham and Britt Beemer surveyed 1,000 former church kids from conservative churches [so presumably the numbers would be hideously worse in liberal, devil-may-care, biblically blase’ mainline churches, especially if the authors’ uncovered reasons for this mass exodus are accurate!].  The expected outcome was that just over 10% of those former church kids were still going to church during college. 90% had flown the coop by high school. OK, to be redundant, we expected that. But we didn’t expect to find that while 95% of these kids attended church regularly during their elementary and middle school years, only 55% were still attending during high school.

Waitasec! Aren’t they supposed to be graduating from church as they grab their high school diplomas? What happened to the middle schoolers? About 40% of the kids in our churches are already gone before high school [and of course this this where the book takes its name]. By the way, about 90% of those kids went to public school. Guess what they start teaching hot and heavy in middle school? Evolution and millions of years – the latter being the key issue here.

You should read this book. Or at least watch the DVD version. [Of course, the State of the Nation with Ken Ham’09 DVD is by all accounts an extended version of the Already Gone DVD, so why not get more bang for your buck, eh?] This isn’t a dry survey. If you care about our kids, this thing will grip you. You won’t put it down. You’ll keep picking it back up. You’ll stew over it. You’ll wish it said something else. You’ll look over your congregation and survey those kids and mentally erase 90% of them and beg God to show you how to keep that from actually coming true in your own church [IF your church still has any kids…]

Ken Ham and Britt Beemer call this an epidemic. I’d call it a pandemic. And it’s not very well


Some surprising results: Kids who go to Sunday School are MORE likely question the Bible and have unBiblical views on homosexuality, abortion and a range of other hot button issues. Those who GO to Sunday school are MORE likely to believe that evolution is true and the Earth ismillions of years old.Those who go to Sunday school are even morelikely to see the Church as hypocritical and see church attendance as irrelevant toChristianity than those who DON’T go to Sunday school.

Why? A few reasons. In Sunday school we get Bible stories [compare this with the way the same passages are treated if they comefrom the pulpit] but we get history, curriculum and science in school. The schools teach about rocks, fossils, dinosaurs and history. Too often, the Church doesn’tspeak of these things at all. Kids are more likely to hear an adult say that you can believe God used evolution in Sunday school.

Read this book. We need solutions to this pandemic. Church as usual won’t cut it when the cost is 90% of our kids. It’s time to re-evaluate how we’re doing God’s work. These kids showed a trend of questioning whether they could trust the Bible. We need to give these kids the tools they need to defend the Bible.

And we need to start making some changes NOW, because some of them are,well, already gone.

Christian clergy need to network, pool together resources and exchange ideas to give churches and Christians the tools they need to defend Genesis, to defend the Gospel, to defend God’s Word. We hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity that this group affords in that regard. Our enemy is engaged, motivated and organized. It’s time to step up to the plate and take it up a notch.

God, let our lampstands blaze with truth and holy zeal!

You can buy your copy of Already Gone at the eStore.

There is a WordPress blog dedicated to promoting the book at

Rev Tony Breeden

This review was originally posted on

About Tony Breeden

Tony Breeden is an author, speaker, vocalist and artist from West Virginia. Find out about his books at


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  6. woah

    Can you really blame the kids…. why bother going to the biweekly brainwashing if their parent’s aren’t forcing them?

    • I hope you’re being facetious, sir.

      I don’t blame the kids and I do think it’s a matter of brainwashing, but you’ve got it all backwards. How can a biweekly meeting with truth compete with a 5-day 40-hour per week state-supported brainwashing machine, where they are indoctrinated in an uncritical, rosy version of evolution as scientific truth?

      Think about it


      • JH

        Because scientific truths is based on public, verifiable evidence and not personal revelations when magically communicating with your imaginary friend?

      • JH,

        Your credulity is just… awesome! You actually believe the myth of the unbiased, neutral men in labcoats following the truth wherever it leads, don’t you?

        Here’s the rub: creationists and evolutionists have exactly the same evidence – the same earth, fossils, plants, genetics, stars, universe, etc. Evidence is not self-explanatory. Evidence must be interpreted, and we generally interpret the evidence in accordance with our presuppositions.

        You’ve never considered that the assumption of pure naturalism is just that: an unprovable assumption. You’ve never considered that in chaining itself to pure naturalism, science is no longer the search for truth, so much as the search for all-natural answers which may or may not be true – and are certainly false where supernatural agency or any other intelligent causation was involved. You’ve never considered that the a priori assumption of pure naturalism actually prevents a scientist from considering an interpretation of the evidence which might favor a deity and that, in its self-inflicted blindness, science necessarily concocts all-natural Just-so stories to account for things it ought to have credited to supernatural agency. In other words, what you’re credulous of is the elephantine limitation of science chained to naturalism: that it cannot claim its findings are true with any certaintt but rather that its findings are most likely true given a purely mechanical universe.

        Furthermore, the revelations I speak of are not personal but rather publicly revealed through the Scriptures. You evidence the knee-jerk mockery of a man who has never thought out his beliefs for himself but rather uncritically accepts the views he’s been spoonfed and ridicules anything that does not line up with the dogma you were indoctrinated into. You’ve been given an uncritical, one-side interpretation of the evidence as supporting millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution with no discussion of the weaknesses of that interpretation or discussion of alternative interpretations like Biblical creation.

        The problem is that when you examine the flaws of microbes-to-man evolution, they prove fatal and you find that, despite all claims to the contrary and the wide level of public and official support, the emperor’s clothes were imaginary all along.

        Think about it,
        Tony Breeden

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