Tag Archive - relevance

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fighting the sin of becoming a boring church part-2

Broken Window Theory is the idea that your environment tells you to act. That is to say, if you live in a community with run down dilapidated buildings, with broken windows, graffiti, and trash on the streets it affects your ideas, feelings, and ultimately your behavior. In the 1980’s New York City was at the height of one the worst crime epidemics in its history. In particular perhaps one of the worst places to be, was on the New York Subway. As a result, in the mid 80’s the New York Transit Authority hired George Kelling as a consultant to help with the problem. He urged them to go about combating crime in a unique manner. Clean up the subway, literally. Get rid of the trash and the graffiti. Then they began going after fare beating, people who jumped the turnstile to sneak onto the Subway without paying. Two incredibly small, non-essential, seemingly inconsequential items when you’re talking about fighting an epidemic of crime. But guess what happened. The environment of the Subway changed and with it so did the criminal behavior on the Subway.

We all know that the environment we place people in matters. And when we’re dealing with heaven and hell and not simply selling more lattes, cars, clothes, or fast food it matters all the more. Below are four simple criteria to consider when building your environments:

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Posted in Leadership

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a biblical commitment demands cultural relevance

Much has been said and written in recent years, offering up all kinds of criticism of modern day Churches for trading off adherence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for contemporary methods of communicating it. Interestingly enough the overwhelming majority of this criticism comes by way of other Churches. Typically it comes from Churches that are not growing criticizing Churches that are growing. After all, if a Church is growing, they’ve got to be doing something wrong don’t they?

I have a tendency to go the other way on this one. In fact, I’d go so far as to say if a Church isn’t working hard to be culturally relevant, it isn’t working hard to remain true to the Scriptures! You can’t be radically committed to the Scriptures without being radically committed to communicating the Scriptures in a culturally relevant manner.

It’s an easy statement to make because God has always communicated his message to people in a culturally relevant manner. Language, the time, place, ethnicity, gender, community, governance, and more has always been taken into consideration as the message of God was communicated to a particular audience. The Apostle Paul, a master missionary, knew this about the heart of God and understood that the Gospel must be contextualized to each specific culture. Check out this 4 step model…

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Posted in Leadership

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The Media Influence

In the last 50 years, media has quickly risen to the top as the #1 influence on Western Culture. Below are five reasons that have driven that accent to such a paramount place in our lives. While I’m not celebrating this fact, I’d much rather see the Church as the #1 influence in our culture. I do hope that this conversation helps us better understand the culture in which we live so that we may more effectively influence it with the Gospel.

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Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation