I read something very interesting: Next to Christmas, more money is spent on Halloween than on any other holiday event. Halloween?!? Wow! We’re in the midst of planning our church’s role on Halloween night, so I’ve been thinking quite a bit about engaging our culture.
It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
So here’s how I think followers of Jesus Christ should light a candle to engage culture:
(1) Have the right motivation. In Jesus’ inaugural sermon, He said He was coming to preach the Good News about God’s love. He purposely left out the part of Isaiah’s prophesy that talked about God’s coming judgment. There will be a time for that, but for now, our motivation should be to make known the favor of the Lord.
(2) Get out of your box. If you only hang around with Christians, your ability to effectively engage culture will be diminished. If you never get around others, it’s sort of like salt that sits in the saltshaker too long. Paul told the Athenians that he had been walking around their city looking at their culture.
(3) Listen. As Paul talked to the Athenians, he quoted their poets to them. He knew what they were listening to because he was listening too. What are people watching on TV? What movies are they talking about? What music are they listening to? You can find the key to their heart by knowing something about what interests them.
(4) Collaborate. There are lots of other faith-based organizations, non-government organizations, and churches that are already active in your community. Join forces with them.
(5) Just be there. Go to local restaurants, cheer on the local sports teams, join a rec league team, attend the city council meetings, volunteer at a shelter or food pantry. Just be there! After a while, people will begin to ask you why you are so involved, and you’ll have a great platform to speak to them.
It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
Are you engaging your culture? It’s time to go shine!