This past week I had the opportunity to read unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why It Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. For those who are unfamiliar with David Kinnaman, he is one of the key people behind the numbers that come from Barna Group, a organization dedicated to presenting many of the stats and figures related to the Church and present them in a digestible way so that pastors and leaders can assess their impact throughout the nation and the world.
In unChristian, the authors present how the world views the Church and give a great deal of information as to why they are not coming to the church or why they have rejected the Church. Something that might be of interest to the reader is in understanding that the information presented is narrowly focused on the millennial generation and the latter portion of generation x, that being mostly people under the age of 30. While this isn’t entirely bad, you must keep in mind that this only speaks to that group of people, so if you’re looking for information regarding older people, you won’t find it here.
What I love about what Kinnaman and Lyons work here is that they get to the heart of why the Church has been ineffective in making an impact. They have focused on six key issues that, in all likelihood does not only apply to the generation that they’ve studied, but why the “un-Christian” or “outsiders” as they are also called in the book, are not drawn to, have left or have rejected Christianity. Of those six issues, I find as a sobering truth to the claim of the Church being “hypocritical, sheltered, judgmental, too political, too focused on converts, and anti-homosexual.”
I suggest reading this book if you truly have a heart to change the image of the Church in the eyes of this generation of people that have been presented in this book. I recommend this book to every pastor, evangelist, leader and lover of the work of the gospel. It is not just a great resource. It’s a wake up call to the believer to take a hard look in the mirror to do something about how the gospel is being seen and received, or in this case, how it is not being received.
QUESTION: If you have read this book, what take-aways did you receive? Did it change how you present yourself as a Christian? If so, how? If not, why not?