There is a big difference between followers and fans. For example, I am a follower of sports, but a fan of only a select few teams. A follower is dedicated to the team, person, object, or ideal at a level that a mere fan is not. With this rough definition in place, Pastor Kyle Idleman outlines his argument that the church needs fewer fans of Jesus and more followers.
The tendency in American Christianity is to attract crowds, but Idleman points out that when confronted with large crowds, Jesus’ message was more than likely to drive them away rather than attract them to stay. Clearly, He was searching for those who would truly follow and not just establishing a following.
Pastor Idleman walks his readers carefully through a series of diagnostic steps to help them honestly evaluate the relationship they have with Jesus. The thought-provoking emphasis is greatly enhanced by illustrations and real-life testimonies of those who share their experiences which lead them to the conclusion that they are not a fan of Jesus, but a follower.
The tantalizing dangers inherent in such a discussion are also highlighted, to assist the reader in their evaluation. Idleman carefully navigates to the heart of the issues regarding following Jesus instead of following rules, following Jesus rather than just associating with Him, and following Jesus exclusively rather than adding Him to a list of heroes – to name just a few. Earnest appeals are made without wandering into melodramatic or emotional manipulation.
Far from being just an appeal to become a follower, Not a Fan does an excellent job of detailing exactly what following Jesus is intended to cost. Discussion of the cost of earnest devotion to Christ is presented in such a way that the appeal is both direct and honest.
I commend Not a Fan to you. While not the first or last book to discuss this topic, it is a much needed read. – Charles Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Are you a follower of Jesus? Don’t answer too quickly. In fact, you may want to read this book before you answer at all. Consider it a “Define the Relationship” conversation to determine exactly where you stand. You may indeed be a passionate, fully devoted follower of Jesus. Or, you may be just a fan who admires Jesus but isn’t ready to let him cramp your style. Then again, maybe you’re not into Jesus, period. In any case, don’t take the question—Are you a follower of Jesus?—lightly. Some people don’t know what they’ve said yes to and other people don’t realize what they’ve said no to, says Pastor Kyle Idleman. But Jesus is ready to clearly define the relationship he wants with his followers. Not a Fan calls you to consider the demands and rewards of being a true disciple. With frankness sprinkled with humor, Idleman invites you to live the way Jesus lived, love the way he loved, pray the way he prayed, and never give up living for the One who gave his all for you.