In our small group we’re studying a book called unChristian. Its one that rings true with me, and challenges me on many levels. On the surface, its about un-Christ-like behavior in the Christian community — especially in North America. It was written by a researcher who has collected hard data that clearly illustrates how miserably we are failing to communicate the love and message of Christ.
On a deeper level, though, the book is about discipleship. About how even in the people we do manage to “win” despite our flawed approach, we are then failing to disciple them. That we teach Christianity as a decision, and miss the relationships — with our savior, with each other, and with those we are called to love. And the result is a superficial, useless unChristianity — one that tarnishes the name of Christ and His followers.
Here’s an excerpt (with emphasis by yours truly) but if you have any desire to share what you believe, you should get and read the whole book. It will challenge you no matter where you’re at…
What difference does transformation make? It changes our ideas of spiritual effectiveness. We should measure success not merely by the size of our church or the number of baptisms, but also by the depth and quality of spiritual growth in people’s lives.
When Christians live out what the Bible teaches, we have an influence on our culture… We are actively representing Christ to a needy world. As we go about our daily lives, God’s words and actions flow out of us.
Christianity must reverse its current image and become dynamic, genuine and real. If we can prevent the message from being watered down by causal Christians, outsiders will begin to experience believers who are being transformed by their faith and who are working in humble and respectful ways to transform the culture.
How does this relate to outsiders? Shifting the get-saved perception happens when we learn that relationships are the key — not just in leading people to Christ but also in helping them be transformed.