5.14.2007

They Like Jesus, but Not the Church

I just finished reading Dan Kimball's latest book entitled They Like Jesus, but Not the Church. Dan is the pastor of the Vintage Faith church in Santa Cruz, CA. It is a church that truly focuses on reaching the emerging generations. He has become kind of a poster-child for the Emerging Church discussion and I've had the privelege of attending some of his workshops at various conferences I've attended.

They Like Jesus is one of the most personally challenging books I've read in a while. Any church leader who is wondering where all the 20-somethings have gone should read this book. It's a real honest look at how the church needs to adjust it's assumptions of "how ministry is done" in the face of the onset of post-Christian America. One of the biggest adjustments I'll be making in my ministry is accepting his challenge to get out of the office and into the community more. I'm going to try to start working one day a week from a community location (coffee shop or something) so I can attempt to build relationships outside of the church. (See Chapter 2, "Why I Escaped the Church Office")

The meat of this book is Dan responding to the six biggest criticisms of the unchurched.

  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.

As Dan addresses how churches should respond to these criticism, he does so with gentleness and compassion without watering down the message or compromising the truth. I especially enjoyed reading the direct quotes from Dan's unchurched friends. They gave the book a great sense of balance. Read this book - it's great!

2 comments:

jacob riggs said...

hey Jeff. i definitely need to read this book. sounds good. have you read Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell? i'm currently reading it. i posted a blog about the first chapter. btw i'd love to swap blogs for our blogrolls. http://rhblogs.com/jr.
jacob riggs

Jeff Myers said...

Jacob - I have read Velvet Elvis. It's one of the best books I've ever read. If you do a little search, you can see where I blogged on it.
Jeff