Because of the discussions recently with a group meeting at my church (Once-a-month-Lunch Group), I’ve been doing some thinking about how we can contextualize where FBC is in relation to our culture, which is Randall County and more specifically, the city of Canyon and surrounding subdivisions.
It hasn’t been easy, and in doing research, there’s a lot more out there about cultures like Mark Driscoll’s (Seattle, one of the most secular cultures in the world) than cultures like this county and city. I did manage to find one, a short video on YouTube by Matt Chandler, about the context he works in in the Fort Worth area, which church-wise, is similar to our own, even though economically and demographically, it is much different. Take a look at the video and notice the parallels, and how we address them as a church and as individuals sharing the gospel.
I’ve heard about all the unchurched people in Randall County, but I’ve disagreed, both semantically and practically, with the way the term is used and the numbers are reported. The terms I’ve used (and prefer) instead of ‘unchurched’ are de-churched and dys-churched. By de-churched, I mean folks who at one time went to church, were possibly church members, but for whatever reasons, left the church and don’t attend or participate anymore. By dys-churched, I mean folks who left church under bad circumstances, such as felt lik they were no longer believers, had a bad life experience and blamed God, bought into agnosticism or athiesm, or even were run out of church (rightly or wrongly) by other church members.
I think Matt addresses this problem in his video, but I don’t think he gives us as many answers as we need. How does one address a culture inoculated against the gospel?