At the moment I am reading a book called “They like Jesus, but not the church” by Dan Kimball. This book has served as a wake-up call to the church in America, as Kimball encourages church leaders to spend more time outside church walls with non-Christians in non-church environments. He reckons he now has a better idea of what people are thinking and saying about church by spending at least 3 days a week doing his paperwork in a local cafe. He advocates that as Christians become more ‘churched’ they spend more time socialising with Christian friends, going to Christian events and listening to Christian music and using Christian jargon. He feels there is a danger that Christians get to the stage where they are more excited about going overseas to a mission-field on summer trips than about sharing faith in a natural way with people in their own workplace or community. In short he believes we become citizens of the Christian bubble, and that after a few years cocooned in this bubble we begin to complain and point out the terrible things happening in the culture outside it. He says we are in danger of becoming like Jonah and even getting to the stage where we don’t have any connection with those who are not following God as we are. Dan even suggests that we may we even have a secret sense of delight thinking how one day God will punish those sinful people. What happened to “there but for the grace of God go I?” Kimball’s book goes on to outline specific strategies for church leaders and Christians to help offset becoming citizens of the bubble. He does this because he wants people to disover more about the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ- what the church can be; what it should be. He also sets out to explode a number of common misconceptions about church.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to have your bubble burst for the sake of the gospel?
You can read Dan’s blog Vintage Faith at http://www.dankimball.com/