One of the church planting organizations I’m associated with (and very proud to be) is E.L.I., and one of their beliefs is that we should start churches “out of the culture.” That rather than starting from our church culture, we start the church out of the secular culture we are hoping to reach. That makes total sense.
Except that I find everyday that it doesn’t seem to make sense to Christians. I have talked to TONS of people about what we’re doing here in Vegas, and mostly I just get blank stares and confused looks. When I talk about wanting to fill our Launch Team with non-Christians, when I talk about wanting to have people who work at – and are missionaries to – the casinos and Strip Clubs, when I talk about how we don’t want our music to sound like Christian music… Blank stares and confused looks.
It’s a little frustrating. And I want to tell all those people is to forget everything you know and read the gospels. Who did Jesus hang out with? Who’s culture did He throw Himself into? How did He talk? What methods did He use?
I’m pretty sure any honest person could see that He wasn’t working out of culture of Heaven, or out of the culture of the religious Jews, but instead out of the culture of the people He had come to reach.