Wednesday, 18 April 2007

This is exactly what I've been talking about. Unfortunately, at most times, to no avail.

Mark Batterson of National Community Church (Washington, D.C.) recently analysed four ways the church can engage culture:

  1. Ignore it
    The more we ignore culture the more irrelevant we’ll become. And if the church ignores the culture, the culture will ignore the church.
  2. Imitate it
    We can imitate culture, but imitation is a form of suicide. Originality is sacrificed on the altar of cultural conformity. If we don’t shape the culture, the culture will shape us.
  3. Condemn it
    We’ve got to stop pointing the finger and start offering better alternatives. If the church condemns the culture, the culture will condemn the church.
  4. Create it
    We can compete for culture by creating culture. In the immortal words of the Italian artist and poet, Michelangelo: criticize by creating. At the end of the day, the culture will treat the church the way the church treats the culture.
[Thanks to for the link.]

It's something that Bob Briner's been talking about since the year 2000, in his excellent book Roaring Lambs (if you haven't read the book and want to be challenged and inspired about engaging culture, make sure you get it).

The one thing that constantly baffles me is why Christians are constantly seen as aliens. True, the bible says we should be in this world but not of the world. But surely that does not give us the license to be so completely nuts that people generally look at us askance when we say we're Christians?

How can a church not just successfully engage culture, but be able to create a culture that everybody (even non-Christians) wants to be a part of?

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