Different Types of Christians

What category of Christian are you?  In his book The Next Christians, Gabe Lyons identifies five types of Christians in the United States.  I think I have a little of all of these in me.

Insiders: Separatist mentality that are drawn to “safe” places.  Christian schools , Christian radio, Christian t-shirts, etc.

Culture Warriors: Standing up for Christian “rights” in America

Evangelizers: Witnessing is the only or most important interaction they can have in the world.

Blenders: This is in essence, the seeker movement.  Lyon’s quote is too good, “. . . spiritual seekers and blenders feel right at home. Complete with a Starbucks-style coffee shop, Disney-like children’s programming, and worship experience that rivals a Coldplay concert, weekend services attept to emulate the cultural competition.”

Philanthropists: emphasize on doing good works such as soup kitchen, cleaning streets and other social projects.

The final category is what Lyon’s calls the new “type” of Christian is Restorers.   “Telling others about Jesus is important, but conversion isn’t their only motive.  Their mission is to infuse the world with beauty, grace, justice, and love” – Gabe Lyons. In summary, it’s a more holistic approach to the Christian life.

As “Restorers”, we can take all the streams above and take the best from them, avoid the extremes, to be all God has called us to be.

The Next Christians

This week I am going to share some short articles about the book The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons.  The sub-title of this book explains the premise well, “The New Christians: How a new generation is restoring the faith.”

This book is an optimistic recognition of opportunities we have in America.  Before the optimistic part, we have to “deconstruct” the old thought that America is made up of primarily Christian values.  We may have been founded on Christian principals, but we are now post-Christian in our culture’s practice and beliefs.  That’s not fun to write, but until we understand the new reality, we won’t know how to respond to this new unchristian America.

Based off empirical data and trends, Lyons write, “The effort to see America formally defined and characterized according to Judeo-Christian ideals has been lost.  Although a few skirmishes persist on the periphery, the momentum toward a new school of predominant thought is undeniable . . .”

This is the bad news.  The good news is with every challenge, there is opportunity.  We’ll discuss opportunity later on this week.


Weekend Recap – March 27

1. We had our largest attendance of the year on Sunday.  So glad to have everyone back from Spring Break, and now we can build towards Easter on April 24th.   The second service is quite a bit more full than the first, but we have room to grow in both.
2. The Kentucky Wildcats made the Final Four for the first time since 1998, and Beth was thrilled!  The last time they were in the Final Four, we were addressing our wedding invitations.  Our family had fun with these wins.  Go Cats!
3. Our Men’s Fellowship Saturday morning was a great time.  We didn’t do a good job of promoting this, so the attendance was about half it was last month.  However, it was a great time, and I’m sure more men will come next time as they are notified of this opportunity.
4. Being around Kent Henry motivates me to pray more.  What a great thing to say about a person.
5.  I enjoyed visiting Lifepointe Church in Clarksville on Saturday.   Just a few months on the job, my friend Mike Burnette is doing an incredible job leading this church.
6. While at Lifepointe Church, I heard a presentation called “Islam in America” by Dr.  Mark Hausfeld of Global Initiative.  Great information and a great call we have to reach out to our fellow Muslim residents.
7.  I’ve been enjoying the live fees of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City.  Any time of the day and night you can check in and be part of a worship and intercession service.
8. Back to basketball, I think it is really cool that VCU and Butler made the Final Four.   Love the underdogs (as long as they don’t play Kentucky).
9. I was really pleased at how many people enjoyed part one of my sermon CIL Forward. This message was a vison message on “The Church and It’s Mission.”    I look forward to sharing the second part of the sermon next Sunday.   We are going to live our mission statement, Know His Love, Share His Love.
10. My last 242 Group of the New Years Season was fantastic.  In just seven short meetings, we went from an eclectic group of mostly strangers, to laughing together like old friends.

Slugs and Bugs Coming to CIL

One of CIL‘s favorites artist, Randall Goodgame, is coming back on Sunday, April 3.  This time, he is focusing on families with a special afternoon concert called “Slugs and Bugs Live.”  The concert begins at 4:00 p.m.

Slugs and Bugs Live is a concert for parents and children with live music, animated video and background musical tracks that extend through all the songs. The concert is geared toward boys and girls age 10 and under, but we won’t kick the older kids out – they love it too!

There are fun interactive moments, and also teaching moments during the program. Some of the material is ridiculously silly, and some of it is deeply meaningful and gospel centered. Slugs and Bugs Live is a super great time, and Randall leaves the kids (and maybe the parents!) with a deepening awareness of the presence of Jesus in their lives.  ADMISSION IS FREE!

Sign up through our Facebook event invitation by clicking here

The Prayer-less Church

It’s scary to consider that we can present great music, in state-of-the art buildings, with entertaining messages and neglect prayer.   Yeah, I’ve done it.   I don’t like to type that, but it’s a real temptation.  Pastors can improve in strategy and excellence while neglecting prayer (yes, I understand it’s “both”, but the other stuff seems so more compelling than prayer).

I’m being challenged this week by Kent Henry in the area of prayer.  Tonight (Thursday, March 24) we have a special worship night with Kent at 6:30 p.m. As he puts it, we’ll “tip over” into times of prayer and intercession.  I’m looking forward to growing in the blending of worship and prayer.   Worship leads to prayer.   Prayer is worship.

Kent Henry Wednesday and Thursday

I hope you make Wednesday and Thursday a priority to attend CIL.

Kent Henry has been to CIL several times before, as a seasoned minister who teaches us about connecting to God through worship and intercession.   On Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m., Kent will minister in our regularly scheduled Wednesday night service.

On Thursday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m., we will have an additional Thursday night service with Kent, focusing on worship, intercession and impartation.   Childcare will be provided for children through age 4.   All children are invited to participate in this service that is focused on the Presence of God.

Make an effort to participate in these two services, expecting times of refreshing from the Lord.


Converge Ignite

I’m in the Phoenix area right now for a church plant conference called Ignite 2011 put on by a group called Converge Worldwide. My friend Darryn Scheske, who pastors Heartland Church in Indianapolis invited me to this event.  It’s been great to learn, train and meet new people who have a heart for church planting.

Being in this environment is encouraging me to re-dream all that God has called The Church at Indian Lake to be a part of!  It’s amazing to consider that God’s dream for our church is even greater than we can imagine!

Weekend Re-Cap

1.  It was great to see such a good crowd in our second service, considering it was time-change Sunday and it was Spring Break Sunday.  A vicious combination.
2.  I loved the new song with the verse, “I sing because you are good, I dance because you are good . . . ”
3. Our “Stay-cation” give away was neat.  Our Prayer Team prayed that God would have the right families get the gifts, and I think the two families whose name was drawn were well deserving of a boost this Spring Break.
4. It was really nice to have my Mom, my sister Shelby and her two twin sons Austin and Denton visit for a few days.  I did miss my brother-in-law Scott. 5. Some great basketball this weekend.  I was disappointed Vanderbilt lost, but happy Kentucky won the SEC again.
6. Our 242 was packed tonight, and it was a fulfilling and enjoyable time.  The food was so good – too good.
7. I think my sermon today was an important.  Hopefully, those who listened to it will be prepared to not be taken “captive” (Colossians 2:6-8).
8. Pastor David needs to stop bringing Dunkin Donuts.   I’m all for youth fund-raisers, but this is not good for me – :).

Love Batterson’s Soul Print

I have read a lot of Christian growth books over the years, so when I picked up Soul Print by Mark Batterson, I didn’t expect anything fresh or original.   Was I wrong!

Soul Print is an inspirational book about our individual originality, and its writing style was refreshing, informative and enjoyable.   Batterson does a great job using personal stories and theories from psychology, while remaining anchored in God’s Word by paralleling the story of David.  There are many great one-line quotes by Batterson through this book.  My highlighter was used on almost every page!

I found myself amused, inspired and reflective as I read through this fast-paced book.   I hope to take a small group through this book in the future, and the questions provided at the end of the book will make that very easy.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.