In his powerful wake-up call for the American Church, “They like Jesus but not the Church”, Dan Kimball explores what people think of the church and what this means for church leadership in a post-modern society. One person he spoke to called Molly said,” I wish I could have known earlier that not all Christians are such jerks. I had no idea. Maybe I would have believed in Jesus earlier”. U2’s Bono famously said, “Christians are hard to tolerate; I don’t know how Jesus does it.” Kimball suggest that more people would get involved with church if it revolved more around the person of Jesus than around the personality of the minister and if it were more about helping and loving other people than about criticising and condemning other people.” Kimball went on to recount what people wished church were like and here are the responses:
I wish church were not just a sermon or lecture but a discussion; I wish the church would respect my intelligence; I wish the church weren’t about the church building; I wish the church were less programmed and allowed more time to think and pray; I wish the church were a loving place; I wish the church cared for the poor and for the environment; I wish the church taught more about Jesus.
If only we try to see things through their eyes and hear from their hearts. If only we could try more to understand what keeps them away, we may discover the type of family they wish to be part of. Unconditional love, a listening ear ,care, support, prayerfulness and practical help. This is all people have ever wanted and this is what we need to show them we can be.