An Irreligious Faith


Interested in Jesus, but not the church? Used to go, but not anymore? Find the whole church scene irrelevant? 

You may be one of the 38 million individuals who stopped attending church in the last decade in The U.S.

With honesty and a wry wit, Glenn Hager tells his story of going from being a pastor to being regarded a troublemaker by religious types. He explains how Jesus broke most of the preconceived religious notions of his day,  that churches really could make a difference if they are willing to take some risks, and that people who don’t go to church are not necessarily heretics.

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Here are some of the questions you will find answers to in An Irreligious Faith:

  • What would cause a pastor of over twenty years to leave the institutional church, (but not the faith?)
  • What are the key differences between Jesus and the church?
  • How can the church be turned “right side up?”
  • What are the key transitions from an institutional centered faith toward one that is personal and meaningful?

This is the most irreligious, but refreshingly honest  book about faith and life you’ll ever read.

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Share some excerpts.

Pops is pretty much the same, only he ditched the suit, drinks beer and listens to Metallica. ‪ 

If an alien examined Christian media, he would conclude we are bent on attempts at self-improvement.

Grace obliterates our hall of shameful memories. It doesn’t keep score. It uses a totally different metric.


Glenn Hager’s spiritual journey takes readers through a desolate landscape of religious arrogance, divisiveness, and self-righteousness. It will be an all-too-familiar journey for many who have been alienated or abandoned by American Christianity. However, Hager’s destination is one of hope and healing. He knows that where Christianity has failed is the place where Jesus meets us and lifts us up. Doug Worgul, author of Thin Blue Smoke (Burnside Books)

Hager invites us into his own passionate story of following Jesus as he discerns the difference between the religious baggage in the evangelical community and the core message and practice of Jesus.  As someone who is close to Hager’s age, I’m impressed with his enduring passion to follow Jesus through and beyond religious cynicism. We need more reflective stories which reveal hard-earned wisdom like An Irreligious Faith. This book will provoke you to a passionate faith, toward what really matters. I highly recommend it.
Dan J. Brennan, author of Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions: Engaging the Mystery of Friendship Between Men and Women (Faith Dance Publishing)

An Irreligious Faith is a portrait of a pastor and his journey from church leader to churchless wanderer.  Breaking out of the cage of religion, Glenn stumbled onto new discoveries of how to follow Jesus and serve communities apart from churchified codes and rigid traditions. This is his manifesto of how he starved religion and in doing so, found the life of faith he longed for all of his life. Church exiles, especially exiled pastors and ministry leaders, will relate to Glenn’s story and in doing so find camaraderie in the growing tribe of the irreligious Jesus followers.
Pam Hogeweide, blogger and author of Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church (Civitas Press)

If you have found yourself on the fringes of faith, if you’ve left church, if you are tired of the religious rules, “shoulds,” and hypocrisy of organized religion, if you are long to follow Jesus but aren’t sure how to anymore, you’ll find hope in Glenn Hager’s Irreligious Faith.  His story of moving from dutiful Christian insider to an on the fringe outsider will deeply encourage those who are tired of the system but long for a renewed and active faith.
Kathy Escobar, Co-Pastor of The Refuge and author of Down We Go: Living into the Wild Ways of Jesus (Civets Press)


Glenn Hager describes so much of what I am, where I am, it sometimes seems downright scary. I could quote parts of the book that make me want to shout out, “YES!” But what would be better is to read the book for yourself. If you are the least be discontented with the status quo, if you are wondering why others are discontent and you aren’t, or if you just want to see what is going on outside your circle, read An Irreligious Faith. You just might meet some interesting people, some Jesus-lovers. – Jeane

This is a story about one pastor’s journey from hope to despair to hope again. But this time there is no church, as he once knew and loved it. There is only hope for The Church as it takes new shapes and forms and morphs into something far more beautiful, but far less religious than it has been since the book of Acts. This is a call to quit pretending, to abandon arrogant certainty, and to embrace the simplicity of the great commandments (love God and love your neighbor).  -J.R. Siever

I was very surprised when Glenn sent me draft of a book he had written regarding the church outside the walls. He asked me to proofread and make corrections/suggestions. My first reaction was, “Oh great! Another book on what’s wrong with the institutional church and how to fix it.”  I was wrong.

This was the book I had been wanting to write for years and Glenn beat me to it. I read the book in one sitting. This is the resource I have been looking for to give to others who are out of the organized church or still in it struggling. It’s very personal and will resonate with so many pastors and church leaders.

The suggestions Glenn gives are doable and Biblical because they get back to the heart of Jesus’ ministry on earth, not the monstrosity created by the institution. Be warned your pastor may forbid you reading it!

Thanks Glenn for putting it all together and renewing my faith that the church that Christ envisioned shall survive even when the buildings crumble. Drunk with grace. – Frank Schutzwohl (TruckerFrank)


glenn-1Glenn Hager’s life experience has run the gambit when it comes to spiritual expression. He has been a pastor for over two decades, a church wanderer for several years, and finally, a person who expresses his faith apart from the institutional church. He has led three churches, several community organizations, and created an online community for people who have opted out of the institutional church.

Now he devotes his time to encouraging independent minded people of faith, who find Jesus compelling, but the church, not so much. 

He lives in the in the northern Chicago burbs with his wife Patty and a cuddly chihuahua. He enjoys his kids, grandkids, walking, traveling, reading, guitar playing, trying new restaurants, and chatting with friends.

Glenn is available to assist churches, groups, organizations, and individuals through speaking, consulting, and relationships.

You can connect with him at, Facebook, or Twitter.

Contact Info

Glenn Hager
220 Holdridge Ave.
Winthrop Harbor, IL


Amazon Author’s Page
Author Q&A (Part 1)
Author Q&A (Part 2)

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