Christianity needs a face lift. On second thought, it needs total reconstruction surgery. In their newly released book entitled “unChristian,” David Kinnaman (from the Barna Group) and Gabe Lyons (co-founder of the Catalyst Conference) reported that only 3% of 18-29 year olds in America hold a positive impression of Christianity. Christianity has a major image problem.
This open hostility held by the current generation (ala Kathy Griffin telling Jesus to go “suck it” a couple weeks ago at the Emmy’s) is alarming, yet somewhat understandable.
Case in point – last week at Minister’s Enrichment I was checking out of our hotel when I noticed the “Sleep Inn” (yes, we only travel first class) desk clerk, a young women in her early 20’s, trying to assuage an irritated guest. The guest raised his voice several times (something about already paying his bill for which he did not have a receipt – of course, it wasn’t his fault) and the young woman went to the back room for reinforcements from the manager. During this uncomfortable encounter, I could only pray, “Dear Lord, please don’t let this guy be one of our card-carrying ministers.”
Well, we paid our bill and with receipt in hand left the hotel. I smiled and wished the young woman well and told her how pleased I was with her service. During the break after the first session, I was in the lobby trying to resist the delectable donuts when I looked up and guess who I saw … bingo … Mr. Angry Guy from the hotel. I was so upset. How could this so called “Christian” (minister none-the-less) treat someone so unkindly.
Then I paused and realized, I can’t stand “Christians.” The hypocrisy and hostility and unwillingness to carry out the mission of Jesus. You see, I love Christ, but there’s a lot Christians I can’t stand. And perhaps the Christian I cant’ stand the most is the one writing this blog entry. I can’t my stand my inconsistencies and my unwillingness to go the second mile and sacrifice for the cause of Christ like I should.
If we are going to reach this generation for Christ, we are going to have to live the life of a Christ follower every day. What can you do to understand what a new generation really thinks about Christianity and why? More importantly, what role can you play to change that perception on a daily basis?