Saturday, May 1, 2010

unChristian, by David Kinnaman

How many professing Christians do you know? How many of them really live their lives any different than non-Christians when it comes to their personal lives? Do they live their lives in such a way that they would cause you to stop and take notice of Jesus? 

Over the past years I have been studying Christianity. Individuals attend church as children, are made to come to church as adolescents, then rebel and finally leave the church by the time they go away to college, or move out to their own place. They do not return until ten sometimes fifteen years later if they return then. There are many reasons that individuals give for not being interested in Christianity,  and the one I have heard most often is, "I do not see anything in their lives that is any different from mine."

My son shared a book with me, unchristian, by David Kinnaman. Kinnaman is president of The Barna Group, a research group dedicated to studying Christianity in our culture. He along with Gabe Lyons, began this research to find out how just how our culture reflects Christianity. According to the Study, Christians do all those things to give them an appearance of being Christian but in reality when it comes to making a difference in how they live their lives there is very little connection. In other words, they are seen as unchristian. 

I first thought that the writers were getting ready to "burn" the church and hang the Christians. This was far from their intention. There is one thread of truth that runs throughout the book and that is that if we are to relate to the world then we as Christians must change how we relate to others. How we perceive ourselves is not near as important to kingdom growth as how non believers see us. others see us. If others cannot see Christ in us then we are not really Christian. 

I asked myself, "Is there anything about me that reflects Jesus enough to cause a person to stop and think about Jesus?" One of my favorite quotes sums up the relationship between Christ and a believer, " A woman's heart should be hidden in Christ that a man must seek Him first to find her....Then they would know we are not only Christian by mouth but also by our actions.

  1. If you were on trial for being a “Christian,” would you be convicted?
  2. Think about your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. What would they say about your "Christianity?  
  3. What changes do you need to make in your life so that you would make Jesus attractive to the world?

If you are interested in leading your church to grow Christians that are living relevant lives, If you are serious about how you may be perceived by the world, then you must read unchristian. They discuss issues that are relevant to understanding why the negative perceptions exist and ways to reverse behaviors so that Christians can positively contribute to the kingdom of God. Hope you will come back and let me know what you think.