Tuesday, November 6, 2007
WOW! I finished reading this book over 2 weeks ago, I'm still in awe. The subtitle to unChristian says exactly what the book is about "what a new generation thinks about Christianity...and why it matters."
The book is written by John Maxwell's former top executive Gabe Lyons and the leading Christian stats guru David Kinneman of The Barna Group. They embark on a mission to discover what people in America between ages 16-29 (the church forgotten group) thinks about Christianity and why. The findings were not necessarily new to me, but they were definately eye opening.
Theire 3 year researched discovered that people outside of the church, and even some people inside the church believe the Christian church in America is:
"Get Saved" focused (without actually caring about people)
Closed minded to new ideas
There were some great commentaries in the book from some of my personal ministry favorites: Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Rick Warren, Mark Batterson, Jeff Johnson and Mike Foster as well some great commentaries from people I am not familiar with. Great stuff though.
There were two things that got me going about this book. The first: I agreed with some of the "outsiders." Some of the perceptions of Christianity in America today that are held by people who are not Christians - I agree with. The second: In some cases, I learned that I was part of the problem. People don't embrace Christianity not because of a lack of belief, they reject them because of those who believe giving God a bad rep. In some of those instances, I was part of the problem. In some ways, I was unChristian.
Its not one of those "how to do church for this age group" type of book. Its not necessarily a church book. Its a book not to only influence the thought and behavior patterns of preachers, its a book to influence the way CHRISTIANS encounter people. Its not a church growth book. But, if Christians stop being unChristian (which means being nothing like the way Jesus said we should be) the book could have have a huge impact in Kingdom growth - and that's what's important.
If you work with and/or care about people between ages 16-29, go read this book NOW! Its a life changer.