“Living in Graceland” by Dan Kimball at Gateway Austin
Dan Kimball is on staff at Vintage Faith Church, a church in Santa Cruz, CA planted in 2004 and has joined George Fox University as professor of missional leadership and as leader of a new center focused on the future faith of young Americans. Dan is the author of several books including:
- They Like Jesus But Not The Church,
- The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations,
- Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations
- His newest book: Adventures in Churchland: Finding Jesus in the Mess of Organized Religion
Here are some excerpts from the message he shared at Gateway Church in Austin:
When Dan first walked into a Christian gathering he noticed lots of pastel colors and the music sounded like commercial jingles. His 2nd experience was very formal with a pastor wearing robes like Hugh Hefner speaking in hushed tones. Not sure why they were supposed to be kneeling at the front and not sure what they were supposed to say when passing the communion cup. Dan’s friend passed the cup saying: “the cup of wonder.” So much of what we do doesn’t make sense to someone who is new!
Principles to apply to be on mission:
1. If we love Jesus, we must love the church despite our messiness. Too often we have unrealistic expectations. Leaders are people too. We need to create space for people to ask questions.
2. We need to listen more than we talk. So much damage has been done in the name of Christianity that we need to regain credibility by listening and serving before we do anything else. Are we asking the young people in our churches if we are communicating in ways which they can connect? If the church would biblically judge the judgmental Christians then the church wouldn’t be known as judgmental.
3. It only takes one person who represents Jesus well to overcome the negative view of Christianity most common in our culture. When is the last time you spent time with someone who did not believe the same things that you do? If you aren’t sure about God, who are you allowing into your life to ask your questions?