I’m in the process of reading an important book. It’s important because of what it tells us about how people in this day and age decide to follow Jesus. The book’s title is I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path To Jesus by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp. I’m only about 25% of the way through the book, but I had to tell you about it. I first heard of it from my friend Dane Skelton and his blog post Postmodern Path to Jesus.
Many Christians tend to complain about the condition of our world. People are not motivated by the same things nor do they value the things we grew up valuing. Many in the church, especially of Baby-Boomer or Gen X origin fail to understand why people don’t come to our events. When we have an “outreach” event, only people who already follow Jesus show up. Every week, countless churches have an invitation. Are many coming forward? I believe the answer lies in how personal values have changed, especially in those who haven’t chosen to follow Jesus.
Today, people think differently about “things.” Have you ever noticed how institutions have no authority? We criticize big government and big business. Almost everyone we don’t know is untrustworthy. We’re sharp to one another on social media and in traffic. Distrust is common, not just among people who chose not to follow Jesus. All you have to do is look at what some Jesus followers post in social media. We don’t trust people.
The book recaps the study of conversations and experiences of 2000 young adults from college settings who have decided to follow Jesus. The authors discovered 5 “gates” those people went through on their journey. Gate number 1 is they began to trust someone who followed Jesus.
What are you doing to increase your trustworthiness to people who do not follow Jesus? Maybe you don’t even think that is your job. In the book, the authors show, based on both the Word of God and the life of Jesus, how God wants us to be trusted and accepted by people who do not follow Him. Many Christians don’t even know or socialize with people who don’t follow Jesus. How could they possibly trust us if they don’t know us?
And I’m still reading. Are you interested in living your life as a full-time missionary? Join Follower of One. Get the book. Pray for your coworkers. Be about the work of Christ as you do your job. You won’t regret bending your life to the call of Jesus.