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Are you a fan or a follower of Jesus?

Saw this blog by Gerrard Fess, a Canadian minister. The question: Are you more of a fan or a follower of Jesus? There seems to be this debate of whether there should be fans or followers of Jesus. Fans tend to focus on cheers. Give me a J – give me an E. Fans tend to focus on Big crowd…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Saw this blog by Gerrard Fess, a Canadian minister. The question: Are you more of a fan or a follower of Jesus?
There seems to be this debate of whether there should be fans or followers of Jesus.

Fans tend to focus on cheers. Give me a J – give me an E.

Fans tend to focus on Big crowds. The excitement.

Fans tend to goto Big Events … mountain top experiences … but when there are valleys … the fans are nowhere to be seen.

Fans love conferences, conventions, Mega, and Super Size.

Fans tend to love the idea of Jesus; but only when its convenient.

Followers are True lovers of Jesus. They are Disciples, Christians.

Followers love one another. Followers love their enemies. Followers do what Jesus said.

I see our churches more full of fans than followers of Jesus. You see
followers of Jesus takes time. It takes discipleship and isn’t easily
summed up into a formula, 4 laws, or a finger exercise. Fans tend to do
things quick …say this prayer; do this act and you’re done. Lots of
shouting and confronting without the relationship.

So, thanks, Gerrard, for that challenge. I was asking God about it today and he took me to John 21 and the scene where Jesus is having a final conversation with Peter. He asks him to feed his sheep and follow him. And when Peter tries to change the subject to how John was doing, Jesus says, “What is that to you? You must follow me.”
We’re all tempted, as Peter was, to compare ourselves to others and Jesus’ answer to us is always, “What is that to you? You must follow me.”

Comments (12)

  • I agree whole heartly that there seem to be many fans of Jesus. I do believe that you can be a fan as well as a follower of Jesus, its just that I believe that many are not taught up in decipleship and into following Jesus. I see many churches caught so up in DOING church that they forget or maybe dont even know HOW to BE church. Thanks again for thoughts for the day . I just heard a pastor recently teach that conviction should not cause you do feel guilty but lead you into action instead, so as people read this blog and if they feel conviction may the not feel guilty but may they feel moved in to action to become followers of Jesus. Blessings to you today.

  • If our churches are full of fans, whose fault is that? About a year ago the pastor of the mega church we were attending began his message by saying, “You know, I’m tired of people who just want to be entertained.” My jaw almost hit the floor. The whole darn service was built on entertainment! Come, get your coffe or Diet Coke, find a cozy seat, relax, listen to music, watch a video, listen to a message, have someone lead you in prayer, then go, find a place for lunch.

    We who are leaders need to take more responsibility. Let’s help the fanbase become followers, and let’s help them by stripping away all the unnecessary garb and showing them how simple life in the Kingdom is meant to be. Christianity is not a religious duty or a weekly production. Christianity is simply a Person. Nothing more nothing less. It’s all about knowing the Person, our Lord and Savior, our Leader and Forgiver, the Man, Jesus Christ, and following Him individually and corporately. No intermediaries, no bureaucracies. We can walk in authority by His spirit. He sets us free, and sends us to others so that He can set them free, too.

    I think the fanbase might like that.

  • I appreciate the comparison of fans and followers, and the heart that longs to serve Him.

    Gabe: I hear what you are saying, but here’s a note from “the other side” of that argument. I teach junior high Sunday School, and I’ve heard people opine that the kids like my class because we have a big sectional couch, cappuccino and donuts, cool posters on the wall, and a boom box. Eh…those things are pleasant and fun. But behind our closed door, we push hard into real life application rather than just learning “Bible stories,” we tackle deep topics (we are currently studying the book of Revelation), and we get real about our individual situations in that Very Confidential Setting.

    If we thought Sunday School was about the couch, donuts, cappuccino, posters or boom box, I’d see the need to “strip that garb” away…but…what happens in the room is entirely much more than stuff or atmosphere.

    Just my thoughts.

  • I like this fan vs. follower. Need to think about that. Fresh take on the whole corporate vs private worship. It’s so easy to worship in the church with the wonderful music and then be challenged by a kingdom message only to walk out and do the ordinary. Something needs to break in me (or maybe be made whole). I feel I’m too much of a fan and not enough follower. Interesting thing about Jesus – he did not ask Peter to express his love through words, but action – FEED MY SHEEP. Seth it would be easier if you just blogged fluff and told me everything is okay. Thanks for the challenging word this morning. Help me Holy Spirit to be a follower.

  • Karen, your Sunday school class sounds great. That’s an important age where kids need someone real who can love them and teach them! I don’t know if anything I said would apply to your situation or not, because the “garb” in my opinion isn’t the diet cokes, the cappucino’s, couches, or anything of the sort; the garb is the religious system in American Christianity which encourages passivity and promotes intermediaries. That’s the stuff we need to leave behind. Your class sounds highly participatory, informal, and personal, all of which more closely resemble the New Testament concept of church than most worship services.

  • God started speaking to our family along similar lines 2 years ago. Our trip to Swaziland really stirred up the heat last year. And when I read Frances Chan’s CRAZY LOVE, the whole concept of being a FOLLOWER really gelled with me. Can He really be our Lord and Savior if we’re not his followers?

  • Not sure if Elysa will ever read this or not, but your comment, Elysa, encouraged me to get Chan’s CRAZY LOVE and it should be delivered to my doorstep any day from Amazon.

  • I believe that you can be both a Fan and a follower of Jesus. You can be a follower that enjoys going to the christian conventions and see everyone cheer and get all excited about christ. Weather the other people are followers or not is their choice. Not everyone learns or does things in the same manner. You can’t tell a blind man that he has to see to believe. I feel that this is just another gimic for the “radical” thinkers to make me believe that there is only one way to run my faith…

  • Praise God for the wisdom.

    I was also reminded of today’s Gospel when Jesus asked Peter who does he say Jesus is. This post refreshed me together with the comments from these brothers ans sisters that God is more than a loud event,a colorful convention or a tingling sensation we get. He is the Messiah,our King and our Savior. These are all good of course, but the real cherry on the icing is when we turn these Jesus experience into others as well. When we are tested and have undergone spiritual dryness yet we still praise God.

    I was truly affirmed that Jesus is more than a mountaintop experience. We must seek Him even to the lowest and darkest of our days. We are not just fans..we are followers, be it in the grandest of events or in the secrecy of our own rooms.

    God bless you folks.Thank you for the inspiration.

    This is evan, a brother from the Philippines.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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