Engaging Culture

      I was catching up on reading Ed Stetzer’s blog tonight and ran across a phrase that has been echoing through my mind over the last several weeks.  How are we as the church going to engage the culture?  What are we doing to create space where the unchurched want to come to?  How are we going out into the culture to meet people?  When Jesus sat at the well he was in a place where people went everyday.  He was sure to meet someone new there.  Where are those places in your community and does your church have a presence there? 

      I think of part of my marketing job as outreach.  I am on a mission to take the money that our church has set aside for marketing and finding ways of letting the people within the church spread the message.  I could take our entire budget and purchase one billboard along the highway and be done with the marketing part of my job quickly.  I would love to change my job title to "Interaction Designer."  My goal is to create ways for the church to interact with the community.  So many things that we do as a church as designed around "sit down and shut up" environment when we could be creating environments that allows people relational space and the opportunity to interact more than the  minute and a half that you have at the beginning of the service deemed "welcome time."  How can we take this Gospel built upon a relationship and create spaces within and outside our church that allow people the time to talk and get to know each other.  I want to see us coordinate Frisbee golf tournaments at local parks.  A round of golf is plenty of time to get into several conversational topics along the course.  What if we commissioned local missionaries to spend Sunday morning at the golf course meeting the unchurched?  Sunday is the best time to be at the course.  I am really looking forward to hosting the 2008 Wii’lympics this fall.  Sometimes when the church outreaches it keeps one foot in the door.  What would it mean to step totally outside of the church and engage the culture in a relevant and non-threatening way? 

How are you engaging the culture with the Gospel?