Thursday, April 3, 2008

"Unchristian"- How People Perceive Christians



"Unchristian" by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons

First, notice the nice copy and paste of this book that includes the "Buy the Book"- in this case, it's worthy to leave on... BUY THE BOOK.

This is a top ten read for me and has me pretty messed up right now... I have lots of notes but here are some quick items of note:

1. I've been pretty frustrated with the image of the church and Christianity... I thought this was pretty unique of me... after reading this book- I realize I am more mainstream with my generation than I ever imagined...

2. I read most of this by a pool in Florida with "beverage" in hand... I had two different people stop and ask what the book was about and generated some great conversations... That makes me take notice... wow.... People are curious about spirituality and have opinions... It was a great opportunity to listen and ask questions... I was jazzed...

3. If you ran a company and your image/perception to "outsiders" was: Judgment, Hypocritical, Too Political, Anti-Homosexual, Sheltered, and focused too much on getting recruits.... what would that board of directors think/do? Uh...Houston, we have a problem... There it is... the research of what "outsiders"/those outside the faith think about Christianity. What is my/our responsibility with this information?

4. The book is very "data"/numbers oriented... that's probably why I loved it... I love numbers...it took a few chapters to get going but after that... I just got smacked between the eyes again and again.... I'm both overwhelmed and inspired...

5. While I think I'm a pretty good dude... I was helpfully reminded again of how much I still judge people, how I still have "baggage" from the church a generation ago, and how much I need grace in my life.

6. I'm overwhelmed by how much the church seems to be missing the target... The resistance ahead from within the church is daunting... the perception for those outside of the church is monsterous... The numbers are the numbers, we can either accept it or deny it... Part of my emotion simply says...."Ugh... I just want to cash it in..."

7. However, the opportunity is amazing... I have the opportunity to be part of the generation(s) that get to right the ship... to present a new face of what it means to be a Christian... I'm inspired by the leaders and vision in this book... it's time to roll-up the sleeves...

8. "Hate the sin and love the sinner" is just one example of cliches' that I've heard for many years... the reality/perception of those outside the church is that they hear those words but don't see it in our actions.... it's more like "Hate the sin...and, well... let's just hate the sinner too..." In business and in ministry...perception matters... and this perception is or is pretty darn close to reality for us... what will we do?

9. I realize that I am careless in how I communicate about various topics. While I believe the the church and Christ is the hope of the world... I can be opinionated around the water cooler about politics, illegal immigrants, lazy people who don't take responsibility for their own actions, government, annoying neighbors, co-workers, other countries and their leaders...(only to name a few).... Am I really living out me being responsible for me and the people I encounter and impact? Am I modeling the hope and peace we have in Christ, my reliance on God rather than government, my value for others rather than myself.... sadly.... no.... I can do much better...ugh.

10. I'm struggling with an old paridigm of "Saved Souls is the ultimate measurement" to "Just love people... serve... don't have an agenda.... Model Christ.." (Big exhale).....

I have lots of notes on this... I'll be chunking them out topically for my own processing... if it's helpful for you... great.... I need to get this out of my head.... My "Wi-Fi" time ends in a few minutes with the 3-day package we bought... I look forward to all your thoughts in these upcoming days...

3 comments:

Sherry Ingle said...

I have been interested in this book for sometime now but hadn't talked to anyone who had actually read it...sounds worthwhile. Think I'll pick it up.

Melantha said...

Great work.

Matt Meyer said...

UnChristian wrecked my perception that I was doing pretty great at this whole Christian thing ... too many places I fell in line with the phrases that frustrated the 'outsiders'. Taught on this to my Sunday School Class. Eye opening for them ... and me. Every believer should read this one.