Mike Yaconelli was a writer, theologian, church leader and satirist. He co-founded Youth Specialties.


Best Mike Yaconelli Quotes

I think being negative is being positive. You can’t improve without stating the problem. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

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Evangelicals always assume that humor and faith are contradictory. It’s OK to smile, to be nice, but not frivolous. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Play is an expression of God’s presence in the world; one clear sign of God’s absence in society is the absence of playfulness and laughter. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Sin is more than turning our backs on God – it is turning our backs on life! Immorality is much more than adultery and dishonesty: it is living drab, colorless, dreary, stale, unimaginative lives. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

There have been times where I’ve said, ‘Jesus, I don’t believe in you anymore, get out of here. I don’t know. I don’t even trust you.’ And it’s like, okay. And he’s still hanging on. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

The authority of a life for Christ always has greater influence than the authority of talking. A young person can possess all of the benefits of authority – influence, respect, and strength – just by following Jesus wherever he leads. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

I think satire is most effective when you love the thing you’re satirizing rather than… have a vendetta against it. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Boldness isn’t something you’re born with; you either choose it or you don’t. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a godly person. Yet when I look at the yesterdays of my life, what I see, mostly, is a broken, irregular path littered with mistakes and failure. I have had temporary successes and isolated moments of closeness to God, but I long for the continuing presence of Jesus. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Famous Mike Yaconelli Quotes

I can remember the night I became a Christian. And man, this weight came off of me and all that kind of stuff. What I didn’t realize was, that was just the beginning – of a huge journey. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Speed is not neutral. Fast living used to mean a life of debauchery; now it just means fast, but the consequences are even more serious. Speeding through life endangers our relationships and our souls. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Speed damages our souls because living fast consumes every ounce of our energy. Speed has a deafening roar that drowns our the whispering voices of our souls and leaves Jesus as a diminishing speck in the rearview mirror. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

We’ve lost touch with our souls. We’ve been nourishing our minds, our relational skills, our theological knowledge, our psychological well-being, our physiological health… but we’ve abandoned our souls. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

I want to be a good person. I don’t want to fail. I want to learn from my mistakes, rid myself of distractions, and run into the arms of Jesus. Most of the time, however, I feel like I am running away from Jesus into the arms of my own clutteredness. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

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Christianity is not about learning how to live within the lines; Christianity is about the joy of coloring. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

What landed Jesus on the cross was the preposterous idea that common, ordinary, broken, screwed-up people could be godly. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

I came from a tradition where souls were a theological reality, not a faith reality. Souls were for saving, not for communing. Souls were for converting and, once they were converted, they were to be left alone. Souls were too mystical, too subjective, too ambiguous, too risky, too… well, you know – New Age-ish. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Top Mike Yaconelli Quotes

Dullness is more than a religious issue, it is a cultural issue. Our entire culture has become dull. Dullness is the absence of the light of our souls. Look around. We have lost the sparkle in our eyes, the passion in our marriages, the meaning in our work, the joy of our faith. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

I want a lifetime of holy moments. Every day I want to be in dangerous proximity to Jesus. I long for a life that explodes with meaning and is filled with adventure, wonder, risk, and danger. I long for a faith that is gloriously treacherous. I want to be with Jesus, not knowing whether to cry or laugh. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Spiritual growth is more than procedure, it’s a wild search for God in the midst of the tangled jungle of our souls, a search for which involves a volatile mix of messy reality, wild freedom, frustrating stuckness, increasing slowness and a healthy dose of gratitude. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Americans have perfected the art of reducing complicated truths into formulas and products. We’re desperate for instant, visible, measurable ways of knowing God, instead of trusting that it’s complicated and a mystery. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

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Spiritual growth thrives in the midst of our problems, not in their absence. Spiritual growth occurs in the trenches of life, not in the classroom. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Spirituality is a mixed-up, topsy-turvy, helter-skelter godliness that turns our lives into an upside-down toboggan ride of unexpected turns, surprise bumps and bone shattering crashes … a life ruined by a Jesus who loves us right into his arms. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

The Church is the place where the incompetent, the unfinished, and even the unhealthy are welcome. I believe Jesus agrees. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Popular Mike Yaconelli Quotes

Pretending is the grease of non-relationships. Pretending is how you and I get through the day without ever having to know each other. When I walk in the room, you say to me, ‘How are you?’ Well, you don’t want to know. And, frankly, I don’t want to tell you. So I just say, ‘Fine,’ and you go, ‘Fine.’ And off we go. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

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Spirituality isn’t about being finished and perfect; spirituality is about trusting God in our unfinishedness. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Religious people love to hide behind religion. They love the rules of religion more than they love Jesus. With practice, Condemners let rules become more important than the spiritual life. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

I just want to be remembered as a person who loved God, who served others more than he served himself, who was trying to grow in maturity and stability. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Nothing makes people in the church more angry than grace. It’s ironic: we stumble into a party we weren’t invited to and find the uninvited standing at the door making sure no other uninviteds get in. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

If I were to die today, I would be nervous about what people would say at my funeral. I would be happy if they said things like, ‘He was a nice guy’ or, ‘He was occasionally decent’ or, ‘Mike wasn’t as bad as a lot of people.’ ~ Mike Yaconelli.

That’s why we trust the Bible – it speaks to both realities: the unchanging human condition and the constantly changing cultural conditions. It speaks to all generations. We trust the Bible because it’s the truth. It was the truth when it was written, and it is the truth now. It’s the truth now because it’s living truth. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

I think that when you follow Christ, one of the things that happens when you start listening to His voice is that you really are alone. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Great Mike Yaconelli Quotes

I’m ready for a Christianity that ‘ruins’ my life, that captures my heart and makes me uncomfortable. I want to be filled with an astonishment which is so captivating that I am considered wild and unpredictable and… well… dangerous. Yes, I want to be ‘dangerous’ to a dull and boring religion. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Not only are drinking, smoking, swearing, dancing and going to movies not issues… they simply do not matter. They matter to fundamentalists, of course, but to anyone else outside the church, they could care less whether we smoke or attend movies. Absolutely no one gives a tinker’s damn whether I say ‘tinker’s damn’ or not. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

I long for a life that explodes with meaning and is filled with adventure, wonder, risk, and danger. I long for a faith that is gloriously treacherous. I want to be with Jesus, not knowing whether to cry or laugh. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

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The reason people don’t take Christianity very seriously anymore is because all people do is put it on their business cards and blab to get on television. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

When I was younger, I believed my inconsistency was due to my youth. I believed that age would teach me all I needed to know and that when I was older, I would have learned the lessons of life and discovered the secrets of true spirituality. I am older – a lot older – and the secrets are still secret from me. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Boldness doesn’t mean rude, obnoxious, loud, or disrespectful. Being bold is being firm, sure, confident, fearless, daring, strong, resilient, and not easily intimidated. It means you’re willing to go where you’ve never been, willing to try what you’ve never tried, and willing to trust what you’ve never trusted. Boldness is quiet, not noisy. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

A calling is the place where your gifts, abilities, desires, and feelings of worth all meet. When you follow your calling, you feel at home, at peace – you feel as though you’re where you’re meant to be. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

The grace of God is dangerous. It’s lavish, excessive, outrageous, and scandalous. God’s grace is ridiculously inclusive. Apparently God doesn’t care who He loves. He is not very careful about the people He calls His friends or the people He calls His Church. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

I’m unfinished. I’m unfixed. And the reality is that’s where God meets me is in the mess of my life, in the unfixedness, in the brokenness. I thought he did the opposite, he got rid of all that stuff. But if you read the Bible, if you look at it at all, constantly he was showing up in people’s lives at the worst possible time of their life. ~ Mike Yaconelli.

Looking back over the years, I realize the Bible isn’t magic, but it is corrective; it isn’t an answer book, it is a living book; it isn’t a fix-it book, it is relationship book. When I confront God’s word, I am confronted; when I read God’s word, it reads me; when I seek God’s presence, He seeks me. ~ Mike Yaconelli.


So these were the 45 top quotes about Mike Yaconelli.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Andy Grammer quotes and Ralph Abernathy quotes.