FORM SEEKING CULTURAL RELEVANCE TOWARDS RELEASING CULTURE
Resource: The Church of the future will move on from seeking cultural relevance towards releasing culture.
The Church of the future will neither practice cultural avoidance, or hunger for cultural relevance. She will no longer be intimidated or impressed by culture. Instead of harbouring hostility towards the culture she will be anchored to the conviction that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father. As a result, the Church of the future will recognise and reclaim the good in culture, learning to honour every expression of life. Cultural avoidance will be seen for what it is - the design of the enemy to separate us from our inheritance. Similarly, cultural relevance will be considered far too low a goal. Churches in the future will know that we can’t bring life to the city by avoiding the city, or by becoming the city.
In the future, expect the Church to move from trying to be trendy to being authentically innovative. Expect Her to live with resonance with the culture of heaven. Resonance with heaven is the eternal task/joy of the Church. When this happens, we stop looking at the music charts as the source of our inspiration. We cease reducing creativity to drama or flag waving - depending on our traditions. We instead practice bold creativity because we are unleashing something into the earth that has never existed before - creative resonance; doing what our father is doing, releasing what he is releasing. God has not given us his Spirit so that we could be culturally relevant, but so that we could be culture carriers: culture carriers who release captives.
The saddest aspect of mere cultural relevance is that our cities are not looking for an echo they are listening for a sound. Our cities need us to be the Church with a distinct sound and voice. As we respond to the Divine sound we release its frequency in the community. This will change the way we engage with the Arts for example. We will no longer see our expression or contribution to the arts as limited to singing in our services, or painting prophetically at the front, but rather we will start to understand our role as releasing writers, sculptors, poets, filmmakers into creative engagement that piques curiosity within the wider culture. There will be recognition that art fuels culture and the city needs artists. In the future the Church will be at the heart of creativity in the city bringing creative solutions to perennial problems. She will pulsate with innovative and generative ideas bringing fresh life to the city as she re-sounds with wisdom. In the future the Church will move from its obsession with Church renewal towards cultural renewal in the city at large and surprisingly - in the process - discover church renewal!