Catalyst Next gathers leaders to explore some of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the church. I was asked to share in the section on Engaging Culture.
In 3dm we describe the seismic shifts in culture as a cultural earthquake. So many things have happened in our world in recent years, months, weeks – days that have changed the landscape of our communities, forever.
Today as these leaders got into groups to share the seismic shifts they observed and experienced – we began to look at the church’s response. When the landscape changes, our old maps don’t work. Some of the assumptions we had about “getting people into church” aren’t realistic anymore. Its not that the good news of Jesus is less relevant, nor does it need adapting to fit cultural trends. Its more that where we used to expect people to come to us, and what we put on for them – we find ourselves needing to respond to the ancient call to go. To the lost, the last, the least and the lonely.
So we reflected on our posture.
In the midst of a cultural earthquake, do we see ourselves as the victims of a changing culture? Perhaps we’re anxious and fearful of a world that doesn’t make much sense anymore. Its a threat to all that made us feel safe and comfortable. Its too much. Naturally we want to pull away, avoid getting hurt or wounded, even contaminated.
Or do we see ourselves as members of the rescue team, following in the footsteps of the great Rescuer Jesus? The rescue team are equipped, empowered and ready to walk towards a changing world, ready to get in and under the rubble of a broken society. They know its a long work, its a hard and painful work. They know its a battle; they’ll experience great joy and disappointments. But compassion (inspired by the Rescuer himself) compels them. They can’t stop now. They won’t stop until the work is done.
We human beings don’t rise beyond what we believe about ourselves. So what do we believe?
What’s our posture?