the book

Faith Shift

faith shift: finding your way forward when everything you believe is falling apart

released october 21st 2014 by convergent books

really, the book pulls everything i’ve been writing about here on the blog related to faith shifting into one, comprehensive place that’s much easier to follow.

here’s the description from the back cover:

Hope for spiritual refugees, church burnouts, and freedom seekers.
After years of participating in a comfortable faith tradition, many find themselves in a spiritual wilderness, feeling disillusioned with church, longing for more freedom and less religion in their lives.

If that describes you, you’re in good company. Countless men and women are in the middle of a shifting faith—and aren’t sure where to turn.

What if you discovered that losing beliefs doesn’t mean you have to lose your faith?
Pastor, friend, and spiritual director Kathy Escobar has journeyed with many who have experienced significant shifts in the faith they once considered unchangeable. Through their stories and her own, Kathy has discovered that growth and change are natural parts of life in our relationship with God.

Filled with honest stories and practical insights, Faith Shift gives language to what many experience as their faith evolves. With an inviting blend of vulnerability and hope, it addresses the losses that come with spiritual shifts and offers tangible practices for rebuilding a free and authentic faith after it unravels.
What feels like an ending can become a new beginning.

Includes personal reflection and group discussion questions at the end of each chapter.


chapter titles:

  1. You’re Not Crazy, and You’re Not Alone
  2. Less Religion, More Freedom
  3. Saved into Certainty (The Stage of Fusing)
  4. When the Foundation Cracks (The Stage of Shifting)
  5. Turning Back Toward Safety (The Stage of Returning)
  6. When It All Comes Apart (The Stage of Unraveling)
  7. Soul Care for Unravelers
  8. It’s a Lot to Lose
  9. Cutting Ties (The Stage of Severing)
  10. Against All Odds, New Life Springs Up (The Stage of Rebuilding)
  11. Go Looking for What Remains
  12. Finding What Works
  13. Honoring the Good in What Was
  14. Becoming More Alive
  15. Practicing Resurrection
  16. Trust the Path Ahead

plus: Faith Shifts and Your Family and Friends & Other Resources for Faith Shifters


it’s available in all kinds of different places:


here’s what people are saying about it:

“I can’t count the times people come to me saying their faith is falling apart and they have nobody safe to go to for help. I wish I could send them all to spend a few days with Kathy Escobar, a wise pastoral presence who understands, accepts, and works with people wherever they are. Short of that, now I can send them to Kathy’s powerful, practical, honest, sensitive, and intelligent new book. It’s just what so many of us have needed and couldn’t find. I’m so glad it’s now available.” —Brian D. McLaren, author, speaker, and activist

“With this immensely practical book, Kathy Escobar serves as both a friend and a guide, offering help and healing to those traveling the frightening road from certainty, through doubt, to faith. Faith Shift is a must-read for every doubter, misfit, or dreamer who has ever felt alone in the church. I’ve been waiting for a book just like this one for years and am so grateful to have finally found it. I simply cannot recommend it enough.” —Rachel Held Evans, author of Faith Unraveled and A Year of Biblical Womanhood

“Kathy Escobar is the best and wisest of guides for those who find that their faith simply doesn’t fit anymore. She is the real deal—compassionate, truth-telling, prophetic, challenging.  This powerful and practical book will bind up the wounds and heal the broken hearts of religion. Kathy is a voice that I listen to closely in my own journey. She is the spiritual director for the disenchanted and the disenfranchised of our time.” —Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist

“Kathy Escobar eloquently and wisely voices what so many of us have experienced, that the faith we embraced in our early years is a poor companion in our later years. Faith Shift helps us take the all-important next step, authentic intimacy with the Divine without surrendering our minds. If your faith needs to shift, read this book!” —Philip Gulley, author of Living the Quaker Way and If the Church Were Christian

“Reading Faith Shift was like being with an understanding friend who gets me. With wisdom and grace, Kathy Escobar affirms the growing tribe of faith shifters who have left church, scarred and unraveled. She makes no attempt to woo strays back into the fold, but instead provides hard-won wisdom for the formerly churched. Faith Shift is a life-giving guide for me and my kind.” —Pam Hogeweide, blogger, and author of Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church

“Kathy Escobar is the perfect guide for navigating the disturbed waters of shifting faith. I can’t think of a better person to have as a pastor from afar. Her language of faith shift provides a helpful framework for understanding the states and stages that can be so disorienting and disheartening. Faith Shift shows the way forward to emerge from the rubble of shaken belief.” —Steve Knight, co-founder, TransFORM Network

“Thank God for Kathy Escobar! While others wring their hands, point fingers, and theorize, Kathy can be found where she loves to spend her time—in the trenches with those who sincerely struggle. In Faith Shift,Kathy offers a powerful resource for those in the throes of their own faith revolution. Her wise, practical, and deeply empathic insights are beyond valuable—they make all the difference. This users’ guide is a true life saver.” —Phyllis Mathis, licensed professional counselor and co-creator of Walking Wounded: Hope for Those Hurt By Church, an online resource for faith shifters

“For those of us whose faith has been ripped from its moorings by life experience and wrenching questions, we can’t go back. As Kathy Escobar points out, we may try—but at great cost to our souls. Faith Shift is the surest, wisest, and most compassionate guidebook I’ve seen for traveling forward into a liberating way of faithful life.” —Scott Dewey, co-director of Street Psalms and co-author of Meal From Below: A Five-Course Feast with Jesus

“In an age when thousands of Christians are experiencing a shift from certainty into spiritual wilderness, pastor Kathy Escobar brings warm and wise insight to that often confusing and lonely journey. Her astute observations will help faith shifters know they are not alone and that hope, freedom, and renewed passion call from the other side.” —Ellen Haroutunian, psychotherapist, spiritual director and urban pastor, and contributor to A New Kind of Conversation

“Kathy Escobar is an explorer of new faith territories. If you’re worried that you might be losing your faith and don’t know where to go, follow Kathy. She’s already been there and back and can save you lots of pain and time.” —Jim Henderson, producer of Where’s God When… and author of Jim and Casper Go To Church

“When everything you thought you knew about church and faith is coming unraveled, there is no better guide and companion than Kathy Escobar. Escobar delivers a practical template for making a way that is both steadying and freeing. She invites each of us, no matter where we find ourselves, to a faith and a way of life that helps us to name what is really happening.  With its much needed invitation to be more fully alive, this timely book will help many. ”  —Kelly Bean, author of How to be a Christian Without Going to Church- The Unofficial Guide to Alternative Christian Community and executive director of Africa Road

Faith Shift is a much needed validation for those of us who are confused, disappointed, or disillusioned with our faith or our church community. Kathy invites us to explore our hurts and questions and provides a helpful framework for navigating this disorienting process. Kathy knows what it’s like to wrestle and she is not afraid of our questions. That’s hard to find!” —Elaine Martens Hamilton, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Church on the Church

“Faith Shift gives the reader needed language to describe the rhythms and processes that many have lived and even more have observed. As the church has shifted, so have her people. Shame is dispelled as deconstruction is explained step by step, and we realize that shifting away from church as we know it does not mean leaving God behind.” —Dr. Deborah Koehn Loyd, coach, educator, and author

“One Sunday after I had left the ministry, while caught in the thralls of my own turmoil, I received a phone call from a practical stranger, Kathy Escobar. With great kindness and wisdom she helped me find my spiritual feet again. Her words helped get me back on the path to wholeness. That pivotal call was this book distilled.” —David Hayward, blogger and founder of The Lasting Supper, an online community for people in spiritual transition

“Faith Shift is a masterpiece of permission giving—a crucial handbook for anyone venturing into the unknown of faith deconstruction and reconstruction.” —Angie Fadel, licensed spiritual director, pastor, founder of Agents of Future.

“Kathy has the ability to build a sacred space through her words—a place where we feel safe and free to be our most honest self, so we can explore new ways of seeing. Faith Shift is a wise resource for anyone who has been disillusioned at the core by the things we hold dear, especially church.” —Idelette McVicker, founder and editor-in-chief of

“These are the beautiful stories of the messy, painful, disruption demanded by true growth and transformation—the stories that make us realize we are not alone in this journey, and awaken the soul to the hope, beauty and glimpses of Shalom that come with the courage to lean into the deeper questions. An excellent book, and must read!” —Pamela Wilhelms, president of Wilhelms Consulting Group