The New Culture and the Church

The Church in a changing culture. The topic will and has made many great books. It has made many great books because the culture has been changing from the moment the angels ask “Why stand here gazing?” It will make great books because the culture will keep changing till Jesus comes back. Actually the culture will change drastically for seven years after Jesus raptures the church out but there will be no need for books; the church will not be here to interact with the culture.

Some in the church struggle with culture change because they don’t understand it. They confuse the message with the method used to convey the message. Just the other day one of my cousins posted a completely false article on Facebook about church hymnals. There was nothing true about the article. It was just someone saying what they preferred and making it wrong if you preferred something different.  I preferred door to door witnessing that worked well in the 1970’s. But it will get you shot in today’s culture. What we prefer is nice but it doesn’t make other methods wrong.  The culture dictates the method to be use to deliver the old message we don’t get to pick the method.

In today’s culture the best method to get the message out is the internet. I have come to this conclusion kicking and screaming. I would have trouble writing a 500 word blog on what I understand about computers. But facts are facts. At my church I get a 100 to 150 total contacts a week. That is three services where I teach/preach.  I can turn a sermon into a podcast and put it on my website and it will get 300 hits in four hours. Hits from all over the world thru iTunes.  Believe me when I say the church is by preferred method. But I am not going to ignore the culture and miss 300 opportunities to tell someone about Jesus.

It is kinda nice at my church watching a grandpa holding a hymnal and his grandson reading the words to Amazing Grace off one of our three giant TV screens. During preaching grandpa has his King James Version out and grandson has his smart phone with the English Standard Version and my web page open looking at my sermon notes. Different cultures same message.

The church must keep a clear understanding of the difference in the method and the message. The world will dictate the method. Jesus said go out into the highway and hedges. We have to go out into the highway of 2017. That highway is not in the same place it was in 1970. Just because I wish it was doesn’t make it still there. Let me say again, just because I prefer it was still there doesn’t make it still there. Most importantly the message is not determined by the culture. Jesus set the message. The method is not the “old story” the message is. It can never change.

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