Who is Tim Keller, you may ask? That is NOT one of my five questions, but it is one I can answer briefly. Tim Keller is a pastor, church planter, innovator, professor, teacher, author, missionary, and all-around leader for the evangelical church over the last 25 years. READ HERE to find out more about Tim Keller and HERE to see what he has written.
I have actually been asking these questions for a long time, but Tim invites me to think longer, harder, and deeper about each question. Tim encourages me not to settle for simple answers, but to press on to find answers of substance and meaning. In this blog post, I will share the questions (and not the answers).
ONE: How do we engage secular people?
Secular people are those who are post-Christian and deeply shaped by scientism, individualism, and relativism. They are generally quite skeptical and often hostile to Christianity. Many of them happen to be some of the most influential culture makers of our time (see the previous post). The number of secular people, the number of NONES (i.e., No Religion) is growing, especially among young people.
They are going to need very thoughtful conversations with great substance if they are to give Christianity a real chance. They also need to have their hearts moved by beauty if they are to discover Christ.
TWO: How does Living Word become a counter-cultural community that is missionally fruitful in our complicated, post-Christian culture?
This question has so much in it I hardly know how to explain it. Counter-culture means really different from the prevailing cultural norms. We are identified clearly as an alternative to the ways of the world, but we are also attractive to others who are steadily wounded by that world. We become a community of truth, love, peace, justice, holiness, virtue, and more.
THREE: How do we build partnerships for missional faithfulness?
We know we can’t do the work of God’s Kingdom building alone. So, who are the partners God is raising up? Who is already doing good work/ministry where we would like to jump in and work alongside them?
FOUR: How do we equip everyone at Living Word for marketplace ministry?
Don’t let the word marketplace worry you, it simply means where you work out there in the world. Only a few people who attend Living Word work for a church or mission organization. Of all the people who attend services at Living Word on a Sunday morning, 95% work in the world. Where they work is their prime missional location. How do we help you/them be Christ-like, Spirit-filled, Word-enlightened, empowered witnesses who can make a difference at their places of work (and in the home, if the home is your main workplace)?
By the way, you will spend about one-third of your adult life at your place(s) of work. It makes a lot of sense that you want to figure out how to make the most of your time there!
FIVE: How do we make or create culture?
The need for beautiful and meaningful literature, music, art, poetry, novels, and more is at an all-time high. The need for Christians to be involved in creating art that shapes our culture is, likewise, at an all-time high. We have some exciting ideas we are pursuing.
So, those are the five questions that I and many more on our staff are asking. Ask those questions along with us. Listen. Have conversations. Pass on some of your best thoughts.