Everything here represents my own opinion and not the opinion of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection or the United Methodist Church.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cultural Awareness

An article titled "Pastors less informed about popular culture than are the people in their churches" was recently brought to my attention in this post by Kent at Church Relevance. From the article at Ellison Research:

Sellers [Ron Sellers, President of Ellison Research] also noted that one criticism people often have about churches is that they are out of touch with the world around them. “The data shows ministers are, generally speaking, not all that informed about the culture in which they seek to minister. The people in the pews feel much more informed about the internet, movies, videogames, and other expressions of popular culture than do their pastors. People are definitely impacted by the culture they consume – the web sites they visit or the music they listen to, for instance. Pastors need to be informed about what’s out there in order to understand how the culture is influencing the people they are trying to reach,” Sellers said.

It is important for both congregations and pastors to be aware of what is happening in the surrounding culture. In all times and places, Christians have lived out their faith in a particular context that affects their life and practices. It is my understanding that this is one of the concerns of the emerging movement - to present the gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that it can be heard and received in a particular time, place and culture.