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They Like Jesus but Not the Church

Insights from Emerging Generations
Dan Kimball
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Many people today, especially among emerging generations, don’t resonate with the church and organized Christianity. Some are leaving the church and others were never part of the church in the first place. Sometimes it’s because of misperceptions about the church. Yet often they are still spiritually open and fascinated with Jesus. This is a ministry resource book exploring six of the most common objects and misunderstandings emerging generations have about the church and Christianity. The objections come from conversations and interviews the church has had with unchurched twenty and thirty-somethings at coffee houses. Each chapter raises the objection using a conversational approach, provides the biblical answers to that objection, gives examples of how churches are addressing this objection, and concludes with follow-through projection suggestions, discussion questions, and resource listings.

About the Author

Dan Kimball is the author of several books on leadership, church, and culture. He is on staff at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California. He also is on faculty with Western Seminary and leads the ReGeneration Project which is encouraging theology and mission to be part of younger generations lives and churches. He enjoys comic art, Ford Mustangs, and punk and rockabilly music. His passion is to see the church and Christians follow and represent Jesus in the world with love, intelligence, and creativity.


“A tough-minded, clear-sighted look at authentic Christian living in the twenty-first century.” -- Leonard Sweet

“A wonderful bridge between the real-world orthopraxy of the emerging church and the ‘we want to learn and understand’ posture of all healthy church leaders. Dan clearly has his finger on the pulse of twentysomethings outside the church.” -- Mark Oestreicher

“Church leaders dare not ignore the wisdom and perspective of this book.” -- Nancy Beach

“Couldn’t put it down! Confronting and alarming but hopeful, this book presents real dialog with young critics of the church and offers positive suggestions for moving the church forward.” -- Bryce Jessup

“Dan brings authenticity and sensitivity to the discussion by engaging people who have come to trust him as their friend. This is Jesus’ way of engagement. He didn’t talk about people; he conversed with them.” -- Eddie Gibbs

“Dan helps us understand issues we must address regarding the church and emerging generations. This book will help you strategize your journey out of the institution and into the mainstream of the movement.” -- Reggie McNeal

“Dan Kimball both points out our blind spots and gives us a clear and compelling road map for reengaging people with the good news of the gospel. This is an important book, and a great one.” -- Chap Clark, Ph.D.

“Every frustrated, tired, and burned-out pastor in America needs to read this book. Dan Kimball provides hope and insight for all who love Jesus and wish the church were more like God intended.” -- Jules Glanzer

“I felt like I was sitting in a coffeehouse with Dan, having a three-hour conversation about things my heart yearned to explore. This book is beyond timely. Carry it with you into the future.” -- Rudy Carrasco

“I really appreciate Dan Kimball’s passion. It’s important to listen to and wrestle with him in order to develop ministry models that proclaim an ancient message through relevant and flexible methods.” -- Efrem Smith

“I recommend this book especially to those who think the emergent church movement is a phase. Something is wrong when people like Jesus but not the church, Jesus’ body. Our job is to do something about it.” -- Sarah Sumner

“If you like Jesus and the church, you need to read this book. It will give you a window into the heart of a world that desperately needs Jesus and a new vision of his bride, the church.” -- Kevin G. Harney

“The good news is that Dan is right. More people are open to Jesus, giving us an opportunity to shed our skins of tired traditions and return to our call, a Christlike nature.” -- Alan Nelson

“This is a sobering read, but as Dan promises, it’s ultimately a hopeful one too. We ignore those who like Jesus but not the church at our own peril.” -- Tony Jones

“Thoughtfully addresses some of the most complex issues facing the American church today. It provokes serious thinking about our responses to the hard questions about life, faith, and Jesus.” -- Linda Stanley

“Treats the citizens of emerging culture as people God loves rather than as enemies, targets, or customers. Essential reading for anyone serious about doing mission in emerging culture.” -- Earl Creps, PhD, Dmin

“While he might not use the term, Dan Kimball is a gifted missionary-evangelist. Thoroughly Christological and missional.” -- Lon Allison

“With insight, gentleness, and an unswerving commitment to the wisdom of the past, Dan Kimball shows us what we don’t want to see but must if we care about the Great Commission in the twenty-first century.” -- Gregory Koukl

“God is speaking to his church, and he’s using those who don’t even attend one to be his spokespeople. Listen up! Thanks to Kimball, new voices are directing the church toward renewal and spiritual growth.” -- Michael Frost, Author

“My father taught me that a problem well defined is half solved. It would be foolish to be in ministry to emerging generations without carefully studying this book.” -- Josh McDowell, Author

“What a hopeful reminder that Jesus is not as far away from most unchurched people as church leaders think. If every church leader will heed Dan’s message, emerging generations will find faith in the real Jesus through his real church.” -- John Burke, Author

  • Product Details
  • Page Count: 272
  • Format: Softcover
  • ISBN: 9780310245902
  • Release: February 25, 2007