Engaging Culture

How are you and your church engaging your local culture? In this area of MMI, we look at two specific areas: specific trends that are happening in today's church, and current news stories that have some implications for the church today. We'll help you keep up-to-date on what's happening in the church / culture arena.

imageZigging, Not Zagging.  Today on THE SHOW with Stacy Spencer
TODAY (TUESDAY) on THE SHOW: Memphis, TN has over 2,000 churches... that's more churches than liquor stores and gas stations combined!. Stacy Spencer knew that God didn't need another church in Memphis... He wanted something radically different than Memphis was familiar with.

In his book Zag, Marty Neumeier talks about how secular companies drowned in market place clutter, in order to stand out that need “Radical Differentiation.” The new rule is: when everybody zigs, zag. Radical differentiation is about finding a whole new market space you can own and defend.

Are you zagging in your community? Standing out from all of the traditional attempts to run people away from God. Or are you zigging doing what everybody else is doing and complaining about that you are getting the same results?

SHOW TIME: Today, June 16 @ 4pm EDT

imageKentucky Church Hosts “Bring Your Gun to Church” Sunday
A Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment. New Bethel Church is welcoming "responsible handgun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.

"We're just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation," said pastor Ken Pagano. "And we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn't be here."

The guns must be unloaded and private security will check visitors at the door, Pagano said...

More On Engaging Culture Parent
imageBarefoot Church - Leave your shoes at the door
Worshippers at two Columbia area churches are being asked to leave the sanctuary in their bare feet.

Cayce United Methodist Church and Living Springs Lutheran Church in suburban northeast Richland County are participating in a charity shoe drive with an organization called “Soles4Souls.”

People will be asked Sunday to take off their shoes, leave them on the altar and walk out of the service barefooted.
imageHard Times for Liberty University Democrats Club
According to NewsAdvance.com: Liberty University’s College Democrats club members were trying to draft two documents — a new constitution and a clarification of their comments to news media — Wednesday after meeting with Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. and other administrators.

The new constitution could allow the club to regain official status after LU revoked its recognition because the club supported the Democratic Party’s pro-choice platform and candidates.

But any official acceptance will wait until the club has retracted and apologized publicly for statements that accused an LU official of saying that Democrats couldn’t be Christians, and that the school told club members they couldn’t hold meetings, Falwell said...
imageEpiscopal Church Fires 61 Anti-Anti-Homosexual Clergy
According to the Washington Times, national leaders of the Episcopal Church have ousted 61 clergy who aligned with a former bishop in California when he broke with the national church in a dispute over the Bible and homosexuality.

Former Bishop John-David Schofield led the Diocese of San Joaquin to become the first full diocese to secede from the U.S. denomination in 2007. Four years earlier, Episcopalians consecrated their first openly gay bishop, setting off a wide-ranging debate within the church and upsetting conservative congregations.

Schofield ultimately was removed as head of the diocese and barred from performing any religious rites. He maintains he is an Anglican bishop under the worldwide church.

Episcopal leaders said Wednesday they were deposing all clergy who severed their ties and joined Schofield in affiliating with an Anglican archdiocese in Argentina...
imageSchuller Son Buys TV Network, Will Start His OWN TV SHOW.
Take that, daddy... The son of famed "Hour of Power" televangelist Robert H. Schuller Sr. says he will launch his own show on AmericanLife TV after acquiring the network in a partnership with ComStar Media Fund LP. The announcement by Robert A. Schuller Jr. brought an end to months of speculation about his next move after a highly public split with his charismatic father and founder of the popular weekly televangelist program. According to Forbes.com, the younger Schuller said his new series would debut on AmericanLife this fall, but did not provide more specifics. Schuller Jr. will also be chairman of AmericanLife and assume joint oversight of the network with ComStar president and Chief Executive Chris Wyatt, who founded GodTube.com in 2007...
imageAnnouncing The Story:  This fall in Chicago! Join me at The Story on October 28 at the Paramount Theater in Aurora, Illinois. Speakers include Donald Miller, Nancy Beach, Dave Gibbons, Ed Young, Stacy Spencer, Chris Seay and Mike Foster. A day of workshops will follow on October 29 at nearby Orchard Valley Community Church, featuring illustrators, designers, scholars, authors and communications experts. Register for the conference and enter to win 2 free trips to the Kilns - CS Lewis' home in Oxford, England - at www.StoryChicago.com. Busy Week… But a lot going on!  Ramsey.  Driscoll.  Robertson.  Jesus License Plates.
It's been a busy week, but a fun week (other than the cold I'm hosting). Nonetheless, here are some interesting links for today. Wish I had more time to blog (and provide some snarky commentary) on each:

Dave Ramsey's webcast was the biggest in Internet history!

Pat Robertson is resigning from Regent University!

Florida may be getting "Jesus License Plates"!

Mark Driscoll has accepted an invitation to speak at the Crystal Cathedral's Hour of Power!

That's a pretty impressive list of links for one day. No wonder I'm so tired! Feel free to leave your comments on any of these topics. I'd love to hear from you!

Engaging Culture Parent Resources imageDoes Your Church “Yoga”?

Interesting article about "Christian" Yoga. I'm wondering what you think about it. Truthfully, I don't know much about Yoga... frankly because it's never interested me. It it a form of Eastern religion, or something that Christians can use to glorify God. Read this, then tell me your thoughts: As Susan Bordenkircher sees it, Christians for too long have kept yoga on the mat. In her new book, “Yoga for Christians,” the certified group fitness instructor and a devout Methodist argues Christians should change their posture and stretch their concept of worship to embrace yoga... imagePastors In Transition: Why Clergy Leave Local Church Ministry

Why do pastors leave the ministry? Several common issues emerge from the research of Dean Hoge and Jacqueline Wenger: preference for another form of ministry, the need to care for children or family, conflict in the congregation, conflict with denominational leaders, burnout or discouragement, sexual misconduct, and divorce or marital problems. Of these factors, which form the basis for the central chapters of Pastors in Transition, two are especially important: conflict and a preference for specialized ministry. A close third is the experience of burnout, discouragement, stress and overwork. As the authors explore these factors, they provide significant insights into what can be done to help people stay in ministry. imageEat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading

The bestselling author of "The Message" challenges believers to read the Scriptures on their own terms, as God's revelation, and to live them as they read them. imagePracticing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders

Based on his extensive experience as coach and mentor to many thousands of Christian leaders across a broad spectrum of ministry settings, Reggie McNeal helps spiritual leaders understand that they will self-select into or out of greatness.