Monday, 23 March 2009

The big C

I've just been watching Adrian Warnock's interview with Tim Smith (worship pastor from Mars Hill, Seattle) and had to watch a section 3 times in row to make sure I didn't miss the full essence of what Tim was saying. On the issue of culture engagement for the Gospel (and referring to an Andy Crouch book called "Culture Making" he's been reading), Tim was explaining how the standard responses to the culture around us are Critique, Copy, Condemn or Consume. There is a time and a place for these when appropriate, but generally no one cares if you critique the culture (except for those that follow your blog), no one cares if you copy or consume (because everybody else is doing that anyway), and condemning it will just marginalise yourselves. Tim (and Andy Crouch) insist that the right response is Create: to take what's around us, mash it up, and create something new that advances the Gospel. Then people will take notice, and hearts and minds are engaged and won. Our worship, our 'face', our contextualisation, is still counter-culture, it's still different, but it is also not alien to those around, and catches their eyes and subsequently - God-willing - their hearts. It's not about doing something new for the sake of it, but is certainly unfolding the "all things to all men" that Paul speaks of, and also insists we fully recognise our being made in the image of a Creator God - we're creative beings, let's use that for the Gospel...

...just throwing it out there, let me know your thoughts... (looks like Crouch's book is going on my to-buy list too...)

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