Oct 8, 2011

Posted by in Not A Fan | 14 Comments

Not A Fan | Chapter 1 Discussion

Not A Fan | Chapter 1 Discussion

Welcome to the first Jesus Slave virtual book study.  I am excited to hear and discuss all your thoughts on Kyle Idleman’s book, Not A Fan!!  The study will cover one chapter per week.  This will allow ample time for everyone to share their thoughts on each chapter.  I am always open to suggestions on how to make the experience better so let me know if you think of something.

 Chapter 1 D.T.R.

Am I a follower of Jesus?  I always considered myself a follower but I guess I never really tried to Define The Relationship with Christ.  At this point (which I know we are only in Chapter 1) would you consider yourself of Fan or a Follower of Christ?  Why do you feel that way?  Have you ever been guilty of using cultural comparisons?  Overall thoughts of Chapter 1?


** Bonus **

This is a sermon titled “Not A Fan”, given by the Pastor of the Lighthouse Church in Cape May NJ which we had the honor of visiting this past summer while we were on vacation.  (Thanks Lauren)  Click HERE to listen.




  1. probably a trick question…but i'll say follower. defining the relationship/cultural comparisons. of course one shouldn't compare themselves with others in anything in life…that can/will lead to 'judging' either others or self( but most of us i'm sure do it, myself included). but in 'defining the relationship', again i say we are all on different 'spiritual rungs' of the ladder. hopefully growing and maturing at the rate God has intended. i don't feel a blanket definition should be used to apply to everyone to determine their love of Jesus. only Jesus knows the heart. remember Gods ways/thinking are way….way…way above ours. so in reality, we can't even use a 'formula' to determine our 'level of dedication', cause we're thinking with human minds!! i really like the sentence on page 25, 'they want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benifits, but not so close that it requires anything from them. how true..i'm . guilty as charged. i'm sure this book will require alot of self reflecting and challenge, but anything that gets or keeps us on tract, can't be a bad thing.

    • Yep, it is definately a personal thing. Everyone is on a different rung. I guess the question to ask ourselves is if we are comfortable on the rung we are on or do we want to climb up to that next rung closer to Christ. What is stopping me from climbing to the next rung? Whatever is the reason for the stoppage . . ."I ask myself "Is X more important than a better relationship with Christ?"

  2. Chapter 1 didn't really have a whole lot of meat to it, but I think it is setting up the chapters to come. Overall, I find Kyle's presentation to be funny but yet still drive the point home. As far as D.T.R., I guess my relationship with Christ used to be one sided. Basically, it was me wanting Him to give me things that I personally wanted but I wouldn't even think to give him something in return. Slowly I began to understand that it is not about Me, my life is about Him. I found that JFK's quote from his inaugural speech applies to how our lives towards Christ should be as well.

    Ask not what Jesus can do for you, but instead what you can do for Jesus – Thy Will be Done

  3. ahhhh, very nice spin on my 'spritual rung' analogy. never thought of 'climbing up' to the next rung!! concur, one is never "stagnet" on the spiritual ladder….either moving forward or backward. but alot of times one doesn't even realize that he isn't climbing so therefore doesn't even consider…is 'x' more important than Jesus. anyway we can get spellcheck on here?

  4. I guess I would say that I have been both a fan and a follower. Although, I'm not sure that the amount of thought I put into God as teenager would have even qualified me as a fan. I had little to no exposure to Christian beliefs, God's Word, the church body ect.. At that time, I acknowledged the existence of God, but only in regards to my eternity. That was really my only concern at the time. I never sat and thought about how I could "work the system" to get blessings in my earthly life. I didn't know enough to even consider it. When I was 21, I was formally introduced to the faith, His Word, and the church. Shortly after this introduction, I went through a very difficult time which led me to immerse myself in His Word. I have thanked God for that difficult period in my life many times because I have no doubt that He used it to glorify Himself and to save me from prolonged fandom. Within a year, I was introduced to Christianity, was baptized and had read the Holy Scriptures. I don't say this to pat myself on the back because at the time my motivation for being consumed by His Word was because I was lonely and broken and I needed to know Him and be comforted by Him. It was far less about Him and more about me. I say it, because it was a blessing to know the truth of what God had called me to. There were no disillusions of health, wealth and prosperity. I was aware, at the time I accepted Christ, that becoming a follower would require sacrifice and would likely come with hardships and persecutions of many kinds, as well as tremendous blessings. So, as these things have come throughout my walk with Christ, I never have thought, "Well, this isn't what I signed up for" because it is just as He said it would be. At the same time, It has been a continuing journey from fan to follower. It has been a progression coming to a place where I am willing to consistently lay my own desires down and to rejoice in my suffering for His name, as we have been told to do. Even as I type the statement "my sufferings", I find it ridiculous to clasify them as such. I hardly think that our persecutions we "suffer" in America for our faith are even worth mentioning in comparison to that of the Martyrs, not only in the early church, but in other countries in the world today. Damaged earthly reputations and broken relationships pale in comparison to the torture and sacrifice of life that some continue to endure for His Name. Regardless of "sufferings", He has also promised peace and He has been faithful, as always. I have not followed with perfection (NOT EVEN CLOSE), but He has and will continue to give me opportunities to D.T.R as we continue this walk together. There have certainly been times when I have said in my weakness, "this (X) you have called me to, I'm not ready yet, help me to be ready, help me to trust you". And He continues to be faithful and continues to help me to follow where he leads, through His power and grace alone. I think that this is a fantastic book! Thanks Mike for thinking of doing the book study and motivating me to read it again!

  5. thanks, but no thanks to me for the book study…give it to God!!! Lauren, you are super deep into the faith, i enjoy reading your posts! in fact i enjoy reading all the posts..it makes me feel closer to all the authors that i am reading about!

  6. A fan or follower? – Reminds me of an old question, "What came first – the chicken or the egg?" Was I a fan first or a follower? What should I have been? If I wasn't what I was supposed to be first, was I wrong? What's realistic? What makes more sense? I know, enough questions – right? But seriously, have you asked yourself any of these questions since reading chapter 1? I recently read it for the second time. These questions just came to mind – maybe I'm a little slow – not sure.

    I, like Mike, always would have claimed to be a follower if asked at any any point in my past. I grew up attending church, going to Sunday School and learning all the stories of the bible. I believed! – Well then I read James 2:18-19 "But someone will say, "you have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good: Even the demons believe that – and shudder." Well there went that. To say that I believed in God wasn't going to cut it anymore. The fact that the demons believed didn't seem to put them in heaven, no matter how I looked at it. Saying I believed didn't make me a follower. I was the definition of a fan. Period. I said I believed in God, I went to church (most of the time) and tried to be "Good." The fact of the matter was that I had virtually no relationship with God or His Son. In my mind, I was living a life that was better than most around me and after all – God knows my heart – right?

    Wrong! God knows all our hearts – true, but what is in our heart? Are we thinking of God before each decision? Are trying to be the "Ambassadors for Christ" that we're called to be? Or are we trying to be good and hoping God is cool with that? The book of James really gets into this idea on a deep level. We show our faith by what we do and how we live. The fact that God knows our hearts comes into play because he can see the why behind our deeds. It's not to do enough good to get into heaven, but we do what we do out of our love for him alone. As we transform into followers of Christ, we see that we are pouring our love on Him as we pour it on others. Matt 25:40 – "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

    Today, like every day, I am asking God to invade my heart and my mind. To continue to transform my life by the renewing of my mind. To remove any obstacles that I may be holding on to that are keeping us apart. To be a true follower of Jesus Christ – To know Him and to experience Him more and more.

    Thanks Eric – Great idea !!

    • FAN OR FOLLOWER? I am an avid PENN STATE Fan , in fact I was at Joe Paterno's very first game as head coach. No that doesn't take me back to Christ's time for anyone that is saying how old is this guy. I have been a season ticket holder for almost all of those years and have watched the crowds grow and how Beaver Stadium grew to to one of the largest stadiums in the country turning out 110,000 people just to watch a football game and yes I have have been one of the loyal FANS throughout the years screaming and yelling to cheer the Blue and White on to victory so I could say that I witnessed most of Jo Pa's 400 plus wins. Am I a Fan or a Folllower? In the beginning years I definitely was a Fan, fickle like Most people cheering when things went our way and getting very upset when calls went the other way and God forbid, if we lost a football game. Throughout the years I watched a program being led by one man, who is my opinion was there to not only coach young men to compete on the highest level of college football. Get this, her was an assistant coach for about 18 years before he became head coach. His head assistant today has 33 years as an assistant to him. I can go on and on of the value of the program that he led putting first teaching young men how to be men….suspending All Americans Curtis Enis and Joe Jurivicus from playing in a bowl game with Florida, just because they violated team rules that affected their teammates and yes they lost the game but Joe Paterno's stood very tall in my eyes as a head coach. Jurivicus years later when he lost his first child to a horrible disease told how that one decision started to mold him into being a Man.

      Thoughtout these years I went to a Fan to a FOLLOWER, not being upset if there is a loss or a bad season but to enjoy the game and always looking for the good that is under the pile. So as to my relationship with Christ, I have been both a Fan and a Follower. Many times Thoughtout the years I was watching the game of life from the stands and sometimes from the sidelines getting that close to the field that I could hear and see the pain in the eyes of real people. My relationship has grow over the years to become a Follower of Jesus Christ surrending my heart to him that someday I can be as courageous as the young girl at Collombine, when she stood up and said, yes I am a Follower of Jesus Christ and lost her life and went directly to her heavenly home with him.

      Thanks for this idea of reading this book as an opportunity to grow closer to Him……

  7. nice paul. i guess we can start out as fans…then slowly turn into followers, makes sense to me!

  8. Helen Cameron says:

    Helen from Australia
    I’ve watched the film and looked through the study notes and it seems to me we are trying to come in half way up the commitment thing. Jesus said, “Draw nigh to me and I will draw nigh to you.” We have to start at the beginning. The avid, deep study of God’s word would put us in a better frame of mind to make a balanced decision about fan/follower because we would be saturated in God’s Word and wouldn’t have to make a head decision, it would be from the heart because it would just “happen”- no questions asked, we would be like the disciples who left all and did not question. The movie and notes are a good wake up call to make us think about where we are on the road, but I really believe that as we study God’s word, look around us at the incredibly ordered universe, see the works of his hands and feel the awe, that in spite of all the creations of God, we are central – so much that Jesus left the heavenly abode and gave his life for us as a substitute – we have no choice but to fall down and worship the King creator who had all things planned from alpha to omega and there would be no fan or follower conundrum. I think the “Not a Fan” movie is good and relevant, but it does not (in my opinion of course) lead us back to the study of God’s word which is the starting point of a deep relationship with Him.

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