The Next Christians

Gabe Lyons, author of “The Next Christians” and co-author of “UN christian” , brings a voice to some of the reality facing the church and the next generation of followers of Jesus.

~ by blueporch on June 22, 2011.

3 Responses to “The Next Christians”

  1. I was chatting with Anthony Brown at a Forge Canada conference with the NABC last weekend. It seems that many Northern North Americans church leaders, and even recently many Evangelical leaders over the past decade are singing the same song about getting in on the wide mission of God – not just doing church, but being missionaries who make converts and disciples along the way. But sometimes more than just our church structures and paradigms get in the way of thinking and living differently. It has taken 40+ years for the terms and definitions behind a missional vision to become mainstream enough for large scale conversations. Seminary doctoral studies are widening to embrace missional concerns. But to be honest, I think many of us Christians don’t know how not to be anti-culture, thinking this is going against “worldliness”. Clearly a new, more biblical theology of culture has not been discovered for most of the Church be nurtured by the understand, and role modelling, that Jesus lived, served and transformed people while living amidst “sinners” – contrary to the Pharisees. In 1975 John Stott wrote his book ‘Christian Mission in the Modern World – What the church should be doing now!’ He wrote, “I am critical of others, I desire also to be critical of myself and of my fellow evangelicals. Life is a pilgrimage of learning, a voyage of discovery, in which our mistaken views are corrected, our distorted notions adjusted, our shallow opinions deepened and some of our vast ignorances diminished.” Anthony encouraged me that he is seeing a shift – away from ‘majoring on the minors’. Perhaps in the near future we Christians will all be evaluating the validity of our use of time and resources based on Jesus’ use of His time and resources. I think it is this questioning and self-critism that will propel the “New Christians” into society and neighbourhoods to be salt and light – but many will opt-out, and recline in the comforts of seperation, disengagement, and unresponsiveness, still thinking they are defending God’s holiness.

    I almost think it is not worth verbal debate. I wonder if the non-Christian world just sees this as Christian bickering and being divisive – not loving dialogue. The big Church leaders and authors seem to be always trying to adjust public oppinion of “real Christianity” to avoid misunderstanding and being judged – perhaps not in Canada so much, where the church has been on the fringe for decades, except in Quebec. I know there is more to it than that, but it is coming across as self-protection and defensiveness. Why I’m enjoying missional people so much is because there seems to be a contentment to quietly, but unashamedly letting our actions say as much about God’s character and the nature of His kingdom as our emails, phone calls, conversations, teaching times, and worship events.

  2. I love the message that people of faith should be people who RESTORE…not so much restore a faith, but restore the world around them…

    I like that the label “Christian” should mean “something good, intelligent, authentic and beautiful”…wow…I wanna live/be seen as THAT!

    To be honest, I’ve given up on the label “Christian” and simply gone with the loose idea that I’m “following Jesus (and what He would do)” rather than belonging to an organization that passes along a way of living to me…but this RESTORES the idea behind being a “Christian”…I like that…

  3. I like your last sentence, Curtis – and wish i were more like that. How to get there, when I’m not. What does movement in that direction look (or feel) like? What would life look like if I couldn’t use words to identify what I’m about? Would I become a symbolic ‘tagger’? Maybe become a perfumer. There is a place for proclamation – trouble is most of us are way out of balance. Worth chewing on for a while. Thanks.

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