I want you to try something. Go to your computer, pull up Google and search “Why are Christians so…?” Google will give you the top searches that follow those words. At the time of this writing, the top searches were disappointing. Why are Christians so…
Do you see how people outside the church perceive us? Did you really believe it would be anything different? Look at those again. When you tell someone you are a “Christian” or “Christ-follower” what do you think goes through their minds? For those outside the kingdom probably something like, “Before me stands a judgmental, mean, ignorant, and intolerant person. Why should I listen to anything they have to say?”
I saw a bumper sticker that described the perception of Christians: “Lord, please save me from Your followers.” I can understand why most would feel that way. Sometimes I have prayed that same prayer! We are guilty! The local church and those of us who call ourselves Christians are primarily responsible for creating that perception. Jesus has called His bride to be beautiful and desirable! Well, how in the world are you supposed to do that when the people around you consider you “tolerable” at best and at worst “detestable”? That’s right, detestable!
Church leaders spend millions of dollars each year on conferences, books, podcasts, and consultants. The mission is to make their churches more attractive and craveable for potential church shoppers. But the answers are nowhere near as complicated as we would all love to believe. The late Steve Jobs described a principle that applies as much in the kingdom as with Apple:
Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
The church will be more craveable to people in our communities when the Christ-followers in them become more craveable. Those truly reflecting the beauty of the kingdom of God should be “craveable” to others outside the kingdom not detestable! Some may not agree with you or follow you as you follow Jesus, but the reflection of Jesus is not detestable!
People who watch you should crave the kingdom in you! A craveable kingdom is something that, once tasted, creates an intense desire in us to have more of it for ourselves.
Craveable: A person, group, or gathering of people that so accurately reflects the Jesus in them that others greatly desire Him and to be more like Him.
Have you ever thought of yourself as being craveable?
Probably not, and most outside of the kingdom certainly don’t think Christians are craveable—but we can change that. If you are a Christ-follower you were designed, created, and empowered to be craveable! People should want to be with you. They should “crave” to be with you. It’s all about how they perceive you.
You know we all have a “smell.” Seriously. Haven’t you heard people say, “She has this air about her.” Yeah, that “air” is about the way people perceive us. We give off an odor. It’s supposed to be an incredible, inviting aroma. Can you and your friends say this: “Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance”? Lift your arm and check yourself. We all need to. Go ahead, “Check yourself.” See if what you are putting out is “exquisite” or repugnant. It matters, because everywhere we go, we are giving it out.
Have you ever been around someone who has spared no expensed in their cologne budget? You can smell that as soon as they come in the room. My mom always told me, “Artie, when you can smell your own badness, everybody else has been smelling your badness for a while.” That’s so true. We can think we’re pleasant to be around, when actually we make people want to leave the room. We don’t need them to run away from us; we need them to crave to be with us.
That’s what Jesus was like. Jesus was and still is the most craveable person to ever live. He wasn’t detestable… not to the people that mattered.
In Craveable: The irresistible Jesus in me, you’ll find out how to reverse the trend and have people want the Jesus in you.