Undergraduate and graduate students and faculty listened to Gabe Lyons as he talked about his most recent book “The Next Christian” in a question and answer session last Wednesday in the Soderquist Business Center.
Lyons, one of the two speakers invited for Soderquist Leadership Week, is the founder of Q Ideas, an organization committed to help Christians engage the world not only through ministry but also through their own specific fields.
“God wants to show up where you’re talented and willing to be,” said Lyons.
Lyons said that the world has become tired and done with Christians. As such, Christians who speak up about their faith are often shut out or blacklisted.
“His best-selling book, ‘UnChristian,’ revealed the pervasiveness of culture’s growing disregard for Christians,” stated The Next Christians website. “Now, in ‘The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live the Gospel and Restore the World,’ Lyons shows how a new wave of believers are turning the tide by bringing the truth of the Gospel to bear on our changing, secular society.”
Lyons believes that Christians can still be faithful to the Gospel, while producing good work and having credibility with colleagues and neighbors. People can be full-time Christians and still restore confidence in our community and work, said Lyons.
Lyons also said that our priority is not just to get people saved and converted. We’re responsible for reconciliation and bring brokenness back together.
Just as the world was created, sin perverted the world because of the fall, and there is redemption through Jesus Christ, our job is to restore, Lyons said.
“‘Restorers,’ as Lyons calls them, approach culture with a different mentality than generations past,” The Next Christians website stated. “Informed by truth, yet seasoned with grace and love, these believers engage in the world by drawing it to the sensibility and authenticity of the Christian life.”
As restorers, Christians have the opportunity to give the culture a hint of what life’s supposed to look like. Through the way that Christian’s live, people are able to identify the Christian faith as the best answer to life’s biggest questions.
“We live in a certain way that draws people to heart of God,” Lyons said. “Live in a way that begs the question. People ask the question for the way they live their life.”
Lyons also gave a brief summary about the seven ways we can restore the world in his book.
Freshmen Peyton Weaver and Abby Bass both attended the session because they read Lyons’ book in Steve Beers’ Gateway class.
“He presented a different perspective,” Bass said. “He challenged us to be ambitious but not necessarily in ministry but in every field.”
They both agreed they enjoyed what Lyons said in the talkback session.
“We could have something to offer to the world 15 years from now,” Lyons said. “We have a new opportunity to recreate what you’re world looks like.”