“Not a Fan” was recommended reading from my dad who received the book from his pastor. My dad is not a “reader” but he was very excited about the book and sent it to me. I was drawn in from the very first page. My goal is to give you a brief synopsis of each chapter of the book and share with you my review.
“Not a Fan” is written by Kyle Idleman. The complete title is, “Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus.” Pastor Idleman serves the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky.
Kyle’s prologue begins with his dilemma about what to preach in the upcoming Easter service. He realized that there would be many there who do not attend church any other time of the year and he wanted to give them a message that would inspire them to keep coming back. Then he began to think about what Jesus preached when He had big crowds.
He reads the passage in John 6 when Jesus fed the crowd of over 5,000 men plus women and children. The next day the crowd is looking for Him and Jesus suggests to them in John 6:26 that many of them were just looking for a “meal ticket.” He lets them know that He’s not handing out any more free lunches, but rather will be offering Himself as the “Bread of Life.” Would that be enough for the crowd? When Jesus is the only thing on the menu will the crowd hang around?
Here is Idleman’s observation, “Many of the fans turn to go home…Jesus doesn’t chase after them. He doesn’t soften his message to make it more appealing…As I sat in the sanctuary surrounded by thousands of empty seats, here’s what became clear to me: it wasn’t the size of the crowd Jesus cared about; it was their level of commitment.”
May God help us not to get so caught up in attracting a crowd that we reinterpret who Jesus is and what He has called us to do. He has called us to take up our “cross” and follow Him. As we take this journey together, my prayer is that we will have a clearer understanding of what it really means to “follow Him.”