I have found recently that I struggle really getting into books that are written from a very American perspective to a very American audience. That's not an indictment on any specific book, it's just that now that my worldview is stretching it's more difficult to latch on to those books.
With “The Next Christians” by Gabe Lyons I found that to be the case for a while. I was having a hard time latching. But I pushed through and I'm glad that I did.
I think I most started resonating with it in Chapter 4 when he started to outline what the 'next Christians' were are all about: restoring. It's a fantastic description and I can think of so many people like this. The next 6 chapters are spent defining the 6 distinctive characteristics of the Restorers. Lyons describes them as:
- Provoked, not Offend
- Creators, not Critics
- Called, not Employed
- Grounded, not Distracted
- In Community, not Alone
- Countercultural, not “Relevant”
As I read I realized how influenced I am by the people he was often describing and the stories he was sharing. I so desire to be a restorer. However, I often fall back into being a critic, or doing a 'job', or worrying about being 'relevant'. I was really encouraged to live a fresh life of following Jesus in the way God has called me. I don't have to be anybody else, only the best version of me that I can.
So, I would encourage you to read “The Next Christians”. It's an easy read, not easy to swallow all the time, but smooth going in. You'll be encouraged to seek some new expressions of your faith in Jesus.
Overall Grade: B+