book Author: Kyle Idleman Kyle Idleman didn’t realize that changing his own mind would result in a perspective shift that would impact thousands. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening as a result of his book Not A Fan, Idleman’s story of moving from being an “enthusiastic admirer of Jesus to being a completely committed follower of Christ.” Idleman’s platform is a grand one as Teaching Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky—the fifth largest church in the United States. Preparing the Easter message in 2009, Idleman says he was uninspired and stuck in his sermon preparation. With the mounting pressure, he prayed and turned again to the various sermons of Jesus hoping to find a spark. “I opened the Bible to passages where Jesus would preach and I noticed that when he had significant crowds, he would preach a message that wasn’t comfortable. He would call people to a deeper commitment. I was convicted and knew immediately that I needed to repent. So that Easter weekend, I stood up and said, ‘I’m guilty of preaching a gospel and leaving out certain parts. I had the right intention that people would know Christ, but in the process, I was selling Jesus.’” Idleman admits that he didn’t believe he was watering down the gospel, but he later realized that he was. In that moment, he knew he had to go through a change in his own spirituality before he ever expected anyone to follow suit. “Initially, this was something I went through myself,” says Idleman. “I grew up in a Christian home and the church and was someone who was an enthusiastic admirer of Jesus, someone I would call a fan. Then I became a completely committed follower. So it was about diagnosing what a fan looked like in my own life compared to what Jesus described as a follower of his. “Out of that, it came through in my preaching and I began to talk to our church about that,” he continues. “In many ways, it sparked a revival in our church. Before it was an idea for a book, it was a personal message and then one that God used in our church to change some things.” Initially, Idleman worried that members of his congregation would leave when he started preaching on this movement for an all-out commitment to Jesus. Instead, he’s found his church and readers of his book are hungry for something deeper and more substantive. “What’s interesting is that my fear going into it was that we would lose some people. I thought they wouldn’t like it and would go to other places, but I realized that fear is what kept me from preaching some of the uncomfortable calls to follow Christ in the gospel. Yet when I preached it, I found out just how hungry people were for the straightforward truth and the call of Jesus to follow. Instead of it being something that drove people away, what we’ve discovered is that it’s really what many Christians are wanting deep down. They know that what they’ve settled for isn’t really what God intended and they want to go deeper and go all-in, because that’s the only way it works.” You can read personal stories, hear more From KYle and Find out more about the booK at CCM 55