Jackie's Journey: Fan or Follower?

In 1963 William McDonald nailed some principles of New Testament discipleship on my heart!  I had seen them in the Word, but somehow concluded that they were too extreme and impractical for the complicated age we lived in.  During my last year of college I was challenged to take a good look at what the Word said and to admit to myself it was applicable today…not for someone else, not just weekends, or not when I retire or when I was more mature spiritually to receive its truth!  A life dedicated to the cross is one that obeys Him in all that He has commanded; whatever the cost may be… a total commitment.  

As a young mom, the message of these words would sear my conscience as my demanding life was processing its truth.  Nothing less than unconditional surrender could ever be a fitting response to His sacrifice on Calvary.  To this day He is still seeking the heart that is solely satisfied with Him, plus nothing!

Recently someone put a book in my hand called Not A Fan.  The same demand and those same passages in Luke 14, again, speak volumes to a new generation.  The challenge of those verses is still being shouted in the wilderness. The urgency to respond is still there for us to forsake all and to follow Him!

The author, Kyle Idleman, defines a fan as a person who has made a decision for Christ; she is an enthusiastic admirer of Christ; but no sacrifice is required.  He defines a follower as a person who has made a commitment to Christ; she counts the cost in following Him; and the commitment requires sacrifice.  He continues:

Fans are unaffected by their Christian responsibility.

Followers have their lives turned upside down.


Fans don’t mind Jesus doing a little touch-up.

Jesus wants a complete renovation!


Fans come to Jesus thinking tune-up.

Jesus is thinking overhaul!


Fans want Jesus to inspire them

Jesus wants to interfere with our lives!

“Jesus was never interested in having fans.  When He defines what kind of relationship he wants…enthusiastic admirer is not an option!  Many American churches have gone from being sanctuaries to becoming stadiums, and every week all the fans come to the stadium where they cheer for Jesus but have no interest in truly following him.  The biggest threat to the church today is fans that call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ.  They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.” Kyle Idleman

 Are you a Fan or a Follower?

The young knights and princesses in our newest release “A Royal Christmas to Remember” worked tirelessly to assure the villagers that they would be able to celebrate Christmas after a devastating event threatened to destroy it all.  Their commitment to their Father, the King, motivated them to step outside themselves to sacrifice and serve others instead of selfishly serving themselves.

A follower of the King of Kings would have her life affected and turned upside down for the benefit of others and the glory of God.

~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Posted on November 28, 2016 and filed under Character and Virtue, Spiritual Growth.