Churches That Address Cultural Issues Will Lose People…but They Will Gain Many More.
This article series presents Pastor Erik's Twitter posts as articles, making them accessible for everyone to read, regardless of their access to Twitter. You can find Erik's original Twitter thread HERE
Churches that address cultural issues will lose people…but they will gain many more. The culture is unstable and volatile. People feel it. They’re looking for help and answers. Discipleship today must prepare people for this reality. Here’s 5 crucial points:
1. Don’t make that your exclusive focus. There are certain online personalities and professed pastors who live to rage against issues. They jump from one issue to the next. This is a ditch to avoid. This disciples people to be marked by anger and fear.
We must be cautious not to let the latest political issue or cultural debate inform our actions as a church. However, we need to be wise to find ways to address issues because our people must live out their faith in a world with these issues.
2. Touch on issues as Scripture in your preaching gives opportunity. In other words, focus on preaching the Bible, and when you’re able to draw application to a cultural issue, do it. You can also provide teaching series addressing specific issues (or seminar).
Do more than simply preach about why an issue is wrong, but establish the positive biblical ethic. Yes, demonstrate how Scripture speaks against homosexuality. But also show the beauty of God’s design in sex for marriage between a man and a woman.
Speak to the issue of transgender ideology, but establish the importance of recognizing God’s design of us. Establish the principle that our bodies are not lying about who we are. We are formed by God. Our feelings do not outweigh what God says about us.
3. Provide resources. You can create them or find existing ones. Articles and videos can be distributed or made available for people on issues.
▸ We have a free download on speaking to kids/students about LGTBQ issues: (use it for your church too)
4. Speak the truth, but do so with the compassion of Christ. We don’t want people to simply hear us as truth-tellers, but as pastors that are inviting them to repent and find the better way in Christ. There is mercy in Christ.
5. Teach your people to expect persecution and marginalization for their beliefs. We would love to see the ways of Christ permeate the entire society. May God do it! But discipleship needs to equip people to live as strangers and exiles in a hostile world.
▸ Final thought: Too many churches pretend as if not addressing these issues with their people is a mark of spiritual maturity, as though they are above those things. It shows an aloofness of the time. This is the other ditch to avoid.
A church that doesn’t address the specific issues their people face is like a football coach not preparing his team for their specific opponent. If you’re playing a triple-option team, but don’t prepare specifically for that, you get beat. We can’t make that mistake.
The culture is actively working to disciple and catechize the people who call your church home. If you won’t do it, they will. Churches that help people address these issues will reach people. Hungry sheep are looking for green pastures.
Seeking answers for cultural issues? Don't face the issues alone; equip yourself.
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Erik is the Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon. He also founded Knowing Jesus Ministries, a non-profit organization which exists to proclaim timeless truth for everyday life. He is married to Katrina, and has three children: Kaleb (who went to be with the Lord), Kaleigh Grace, and Kyra Piper.
- Persevering: Moving From Cultural Conformity To Being Rooted In The Timeless Truth Of Scripture