Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I Like Jesus … Not the Church

You know, you have seen the stickers I heart Jesus.
People really do like Jesus, even love him,
but guess what they don't like the church.

This is the title of Dan Kimball's latest book.
You can read more about what went into the writing of his latest book here. Today's non-Christian 20- and 30-somethings are big fans of Jesus but are less thrilled with His followers and the churches where they worship. Pastor/author Dan Kimball reveals their six most common perceptions of Christians and the Church, what they wish church was like—and why you should be listening to these emerging voices. Here are the misconceptions:
1) The Church is an organized religion with a political agenda.

2) The Church is judgmental and negative.

3) The Church is dominated by males and oppresses females.

4) The Church is homophobic.

5) The Church arrogantly claims all other religions are wrong.

6) The Church is full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally.

In the article at Christianity Today, which was originally written for outreachmagazine.com, he gives some good ideas of how to deal with the 6 misconceptions. One thing he talked about that struck me was what he called the Church Office Bubble. He talked about how it is so easy to be caught up in the business and busyness of the church that we don't as Pastors get outside the office. And that mostly we hang out with Christians or churchgoers. He found himself in that position. It made me think about my work as a Pastor, and challenged me to plan to get out of the office more and be around people. When I lived in Wadley, I got out more spent time with a lot of people, some Christian, some not, some church goers, some not. I feel encouraged and inspired to find a way to do it here in the culture and area I live in.

There is a website for the book called
theylikejesus.com. Dan Kimball has his own blog as well, and other websites: Blogs and websites to follow:
This is another book I will be reading.


mompriest said...

I've neither heard of nor read this book....but I think I will now!

hipchickmamma said...

another book for the summer reading list!

i think i could agree to most of his items. is that bad or good? actually it's why i felt called to ordained ministry. hoping to rock the boat and show folks that church isn't always what it's cracked up to be. in a good way of course!

Mother Laura said...

I wouldn't really call all of these misconceptions; many are astute criticisms inspired by the Spirit, from which we could learn much. Every mainline church except the UCC is homophobic, with LGBT believers relegated to second class citizenship in matters of both marriage and ordination, and most still oppress women--though some in far less measure than others. Don't know what the book recommends, but I hope it's real change and not just spin doctoring.

April said...

Great find, Abi! I'm so late in catching up with you -- I'm reading away right now!