Engaging and Influencing Culture
At North Way Christian Community, our mission is freeing people to follow Jesus, and our vision is doing so as one church in multiple locations with all generations. Alongside this vision and mission exist three core values: following Jesus, doing life together, and engaging and influencing culture.
This summer, we've been taking a look at Daniel's life in Babylon (and will continue to do so in late August and early September), specifically how he engaged and influenced the culture in which he was placed. We, too, must learn how to engage and influence culture - with prayer, with understanding and with grace.
No doubt your small group can and should become a safe environment for the church to process the many shifts in culture we're experiencing today. An obvious current example is the same-sex marriage ruling by the Supreme Court, and there are bound to be more. As this and other potentially divisive topics come up in our small groups, how are we to help our small group members respond?
- Prayer: As a leader and within your group, tough topics should always be brought to the Lord in prayer. As you pray, trust that the Holy Spirit will serve as your counselor and the Spirit of truth.
- Understanding: Especially in today's world of social media, blogs and more, it's imperative to know the facts. Take responsibility to be as informed (culturally and biblically) as possible in your conversations.
- Grace: Within circles of Christians and non-Christians, withhold judgment and provide a safe place for people to share while being sensitive and respectful to one another.
Always keep in mind that our responsibility is to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves - including neighbors with whom we disagree. "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." - John 13:35
As additional resources for you, Pastor Scott Stevens briefly explained his thoughts about the ruling on same-sex marriage in his recent sermon (6:37-10:41), and we will speak to the decision again during the third week of the upcoming teaching series, "Choosing Turbulence."
Lastly, we do not want this issue to become a distraction, especially within our small groups, as we keep our focus on the main thing, the Gospel. Nor do we want you or our membership to feel like we are side-stepping or over emphasizing the issue. If you have any thoughts, questions, need for clarity, or just want to discuss further, please connect with your campus pastor.