Leaving Church

  • by Barbara Brown Taylor
  • Narrated by Karen Saltus
  • 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

After nine years serving on the staff of a big urban church in Atlanta, Barbara Brown Taylor arrives in rural Clarkesville, Georgia (population 1,500), following her dream to become the pastor of her own small congregation. The adjustment from city life to country dweller is something of a shock - Taylor is one of the only professional women in the community - but small-town life offers many of its own unique joys. Taylor has five successful years that see significant growth in the church she serves, but ultimately she finds herself experiencing "compassion fatigue" and wonders what exactly God has called her to do. She realizes that in order to keep her faith she may have to leave.
Taylor describes a rich spiritual journey in which God has given her more questions than answers. As she becomes part of the flock instead of the shepherd, she describes her poignant and sincere struggle to regain her footing in the world without her defining collar. Taylor's realization that this may in fact be God's surprising path for her leads her to a refreshing search to find Him in new places. Leaving Church will remind even the most skeptical among us that life is about both disappointment and hope - and ultimately, renewal.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I liked BBT's book Altar in the World, but was disappointed by this story of her decision to leave parish ministry. The ego on this woman just won't stop. I was hoping for something inspirational but found largely a long justification of her decision to break a commitment she had made. I am also a parish minister and I was stunned by the level of self-importance she gave herself once she put on the clerical collar and the level of her grief at becoming an "ordinary" person again once she took it off. She's a good writer, obviously, but the book didn't meet my expectations. And the narrator read it in a saccharine, "spiritual" voice which really put me off. I made it almost to the end, but finally couldn't take it any more. Not recommended.
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- rjackt

Barbara Brown Taylor at her best

What made the experience of listening to Leaving Church the most enjoyable?

The writers experiences are relevant and applicable for a Christian seeking to actually follow Jesus of Nazereth in 21st century America

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author herself

Which scene was your favorite?

Her surprise that God's beautiful world of nature is still there to inspire if one looks hard enough

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is great to know others are on the same pilgrimage

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- Illini Two

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-19-2011
  • Publisher: HarperAudio