In April 2009 I went to a youth leader event at Grace Chapel in Lexington, MA. The speaker of the day was Mark Helsel. Our group of youth leaders from Calvary ended up sitting on the steps of Grace Chapel eating lunch with Mark during the lunch break. Our conversation was about church, college, rules, etc and he started talking about The Unlikely Disciple, a book he started reading. After our conversation, the book was on my "to read" list. It wasn't until recently that I was able to get a hold of the book to read it for myself.
It's the first book of the year and it's already on my favorite books list. It was a quick read and roughly 350 pages. Kevin writes in a style that is easy for most people to understand.
Kevin hadn't graduated college and he already wrote a fabulous book... quite the achievement if you ask me.
After finishing the book, I started to think about my own life. What do I REALLY believe? Why do I believe what I do? Is it because of how I was raised? Did I choose for myself what I believe? What would life have been for me if I hadn't been raised in a Christian home? Would I even be a Christian? Do I approach Christianity the same way a "typical" Christian College grad would?
Maybe I should give a little background...
My parents became Christians during their college years and I grew up in an evangelical Christian home. We attended Sunday School and church every week. My parents were quite involved in church; as I got older my involvement in church increased. I wasn't one to attend youth group regularly, but I enjoyed helping out in the nursery, children's church and teaching Sunday School to younger kids.
As I looked into WHERE I would attend college, my three choices were UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management in Massachusetts, American University in Washington DC, and Gordon College in Massachusetts, north of Boston. As the deadline neared, I decided to go to UMass. The day the deposit was due, I decided, no, I need to attend Gordon College.
I graduated from Gordon College, which is considered a "liberal" Christian college by Liberty's standards.
- There are coed dorms - not coed floors though
- There is both a democrat AND a republican club.
- The professors lecture AND then press us to THINK for ourselves 'WHY do we believe what we believe'.
- Gordon is a dry campus, but you're not expelled for drinking off-campus.
- Gordon does NOT limit male-female contact to hand-holding; although if you spend the night with someone of the opposite sex on campus AND are found out you will get in trouble.
- They have mission's trips, but nothing like the mission's trip described in The Unlikely Disciple
Of course, as I wrote above, there were many questions I asked myself, but I will review those in a later post.
Read the book.