A recent special on CNN was titled: "What Is a Christian? Where Do You Fit?" Obviously, many people are interested in the subject, but when it comes to actually entering a church and exploring the life of a congregation, they are hesitant. It would seem that many people like Jesus but not the church. And this dynamic is not limited to non-Christians.
A few years ago I was teaching a course about the church and our culture at a Christian college. Mid-lecture a hand went up, and with all sincerity a student probed, "Do we really need the church?" In this student's mind the church was not a given. Then it hit me: the classroom was filled with future church leaders. These young Christians were sold out for Jesus and longing to be his disciples, but being sold out for the church was troubling.
Dan Kimball's latest book, They Like Jesus but not the Church, tackles this phenomenon. Written by a pastor for pastors, Kimball is strikingly humble in his approach to this topic. (He even includes an ...1