Our culture is changing. Things that were common only 20 years ago are becoming impossible. Things that were rare 20 years ago are becoming commonplace. Disaster seems to strike nearly every day somewhere in America or in the world.
Our world is changing and it’s not becoming more like Christ.
I do, though, believe that there’s hope.
There’s always hope with Jesus.
A big part of that hope is the church. The church is still God’s plan to reach humanity. However, as the church, we stand at a crossroads of opportunity. One way takes us down the same path some of the church has been down for quite some time. That path says, “Look at us and see us. We’ll impress you into believing like us.” That path worked in the past and still works to some degree. However, there’s another path of opportunity. It’s the path that seems to give the church and those outside of the church real hope. It’s the path that sheds new light on what really makes Christianity special. There are some real advantages to the Gospel message and those trying to get it out.
Here are four advantages the church has in reaching the current changing culture …
The church provides real opportunities to have real connections with other people. Seriously! When Christian community is in working order, there’s nothing like it. Genuine and true community is what people really want today.
Think about the rise of social media, the rise of online dating and even the rise in the travel industry. It all points to people wanting a release through community with other people. The millennial generation is so proud of their “togetherness” when they’re working in unity. They love to talk about how they’ve come together to support a cause or raise awareness. As the church, we have to foster that. As Christians, we have to seek that unity and community with those inside and outside of the Kingdom.
Transformation is such a huge word in the Christian context. It means that Jesus changes eternities and lives. Transformation breeds excitement and gives the current generation the feeling of authenticity they so much desire. If the church fails to foster true transformation, it’s much easier to question our message.
Think about Jesus’ life. He transformed others, and when He did it brought validity to His message. We have to see that as the church. It’s certainly not Christ’s fault when we don’t, it’s ours. We have to provide a picture of the real Gospel and help people walk through life’s challenges.
This one may sound odd, but I think there’s a desire in the current millennial generation for some of the tradition of the past. Sure, it has to be tweaked from churches of 75 years ago, but there’s some desire for the tradition of traditional churches. A current movement that praises old video games, historic books and things of yesteryear often gravitates toward the nostalgia of the church’s history.
Ultimately, as the world continues to undergo change and see so much of what we used to take for granted fall away, it will seek hope more than ever. As the news continues to cover more tragedy and disaster, people will seek out something to encourage them and their families and give them hope.
True hope is only available through Jesus. I’m afraid that many local churches hide this hope behind personal agendas and political statements. We’re called to offer hope to others by lifting up the Hope of the World!
What other advantages does the church have in reaching our ever changing culture?