While many Christians are bemoaning their faith’s decline, author Gabe Lyons is optimistic that Christianity’s best days are yet to come with the rise of the next Christians. Gabe’s book is The Next Christians.
Gabe has done some intense original research about the public’s perception of Christianity, specifically among those 16-29. He found:
• 9 out of 10 said the first word they associate with Christian is “judgmental” or “anti-gay”
• Almost 85 percent said Christians are hypocritical
• 3 out of 4 said Christians are too political
• 7 out of 10 said they just felt like Christians were proselytizers
According to Gabe, Christians have fallen into the trap of thinking our main job is to convert people. In contrast, what we need to remember is that conversion comes through God and the Holy Spirit–not us.
What we are called to is love. We are called to walk with others and be there for them in the storms and struggles of life. No matter what. No matter how they respond to the gospel.
The tendency we have to escape to our little Christian bubbles and convene with only similar people comes from our sin nature. We have this sense of self righteousness and pride in our way of doing things. Because of this pride we don’t want to accept others and live life with open arms.
We need to constantly evaluate where these sinful ideas are coming to play in our life and find ways to combat them.
Given these realizations, when we share the gospel with others we need to focus on living out gospel attitudes instead of preaching words. Our lives have to really embody anything we’re talking about. If we want to be the next Christians to change the world, it can’t just be words, it has to be our deeds.
“The good news was about redeeming us, it was about restoring us back to something that we had lost. So, our lives should be about that same kind of work in everything we do.”
Key Scripture: Isaiah 58:10-12