They Like Jesus but not the Church by Dan Kimball was a very good read. I think as Pastors we can get caught in the Christian “bubble” and lose contact with anyone who is far from God.
Dan’s research about those who like Jesus but not the church boiled down to 6 common observations emerging generations have about the church:
– The church is an organized religion with a political agenda
– The church is judgmental and negative
– The church is dominated by males and oppresses women
– The church is homophobic
– The church arrogantly claims all other religions are wrong
– The church is full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally
This reminded me that the church looks very different on the outside than it does on the inside. Dan challenges us to get out of the church office for a while and listen to what a new generation is thinking.
Dan’s approach is refreshing and speaks to our generation. He is genuinely caring to those who have positive feelings about Jesus and negative feelings about the church and yet has a strong Biblical Worldview that grounds him. He uses classic apologetics after he has built a relationship and gotten through the baggage that comes up when talking about church.
People say a lot of negative things about emerging churches, but Dan is very orthodox in his theology. Any Pastor that is reaching people in their 20’s needs to read this book. I found the book challenging and I highly recommend it to church leaders.