Thursday, March 31, 2011
"Church Marketing Sucks" reviews a book by Gabe Lyons called The Next Christians. There is a lot I could complain about, but there is also a lot good about the piece - and that is where I want to focus:
One particular idea that struck my curiosity was the idea of creating culture. Somewhere in between the Enlightenment and post-modernity, the church gave up her position as a cultural influencer. She abandoned her role as gatekeeper to what would and would not be beneficial to any given culture. She abandoned this role because, as Lyons points out, she became a critic instead of a creator. She only voiced what she was against rather than what God was for. This, as anyone with a whiny co-worker can attest, can only be listened to for so long.I have contended many times that the church should be culture maker, but the reasons she has been reduced to critic are much more complex than this paragraph would indicate. But that said, what to do about it is the key question. How does the church begin to reassert itself into that role?
I do not think it will be by engaging in "culture wars." That does not mean there are not somethings we should be doing on the broad socio-political level, but for those things to work we really need to have prepared the battlefield, as it were.
This we do by filling positions of cultural influence with people of faith. And this we do by raising young people with sufficient faith that when they go to the dreaded liberal educational institution, they can withstand the buffeting and come out with intact faith.
And how you ask does that happen? May I suggest by having parents that are so well grounded. The key starts with us.
The key to all of it is where it has always been - it is how seriously we take our faith, right now, today.
So how's with you?