We are in a critical cultural moment. Research shows a rapid cultural decline in things that foster our ability to live vibrant and worshipful lives with Christ. We have seen the rapid disintegration of biblical literacy, church involvement, mental health, family stability, community connectedness, and much more. New phrases emerge in our conversational landscape as communities attempt to shape the world, right the wrongs of the past, and feel safe: social justice, safe spaces, epidemic of loneliness, identity politics, cancel culture, authentic self, trigger warning, homophobia, bigotry, misogyny, equity, inclusion, reproductive rights, abortion… and the list goes on.
To find our way forward, in our lives, our families, and our communities, we must rediscover the invitational way of truth and grace, helping others live with confident conviction and uncommon compassion. This is the aim of Cultural Discipleship, a kind of discipleship for such a time as this.
Cultural Discipleship is partnering with God in His work in someone’s life to live faithfully in this cultural moment.
Cultural Discipleship is a kind of discipleship that considers our cultural moment by integrating worldview training and relational discipleship training. We must now become equipped to shepherd both the heart and the mind, with both truth and grace. We must be equipped for the rational and the relational.
Being skilled in cultural discipleship requires that we integrate relational discipleship (partnering with God in His work in someone’s life) and worldview formation (understanding and living biblically in the culture.) It is discipleship deeply rooted in a Biblical worldview and interpersonal shepherding.
It is easy to perceive words like worldview and apologetics as argumentative or merely academic. Some may be concerned that an overemphasis on truth fails to consider the deeper emotions of the human heart and real-world relationships.
The concept of discipleship can feel mystifying, intimidating, or something only trained professionals do. Good sermons, Bible studies, and books help us believe rightly. Isn’t that enough?
However, many Christians still struggle to translate strong theology to people who are angry, hurt, confused, or questioning. They struggle to connect with and disciple others who are being persuaded by the cultural ideologies of our day, not just in the mind but also in the emotional intuitions. They struggle to respond to a world that increasing finds the very idea of Christianity to be hateful and dangerous.
So we sit in church, small groups, homes, and Christian schools, secretly longing for a faithful way forward at this moment. We feel the threat of a job loss, a family relationship, or a church brother or sister over disagreement. We want to be invitational and faithful to Christ, but we secretly wonder if our faith is too thin to bear the weight of the nuance required to enter our world’s difficulties.
We need both. We need discipleship to be demystified, caring for the heart and soul in all its complexity. We need deep worldview roots to thicken our faith and live in the fullness of our grand Story. We need simple, but not simplistic.
We need simple, but not simplistic.
If you wish to offer yourself to God in His work of inviting others into a more abundant and beautiful life, you are on the journey toward cultural discipleship. We hope to join you and help you as God thickens your understanding of your own faith. May you no longer feel cornered or unsure of what is happening in your world. May you know why the biblical story is good for everyone and have a simple way to invite others into God’s redemptive work. May you become an invitational expression of the Gospel, caring for people’s hearts, minds, and souls. May you live with courage, clarity, and a confident humility that is firmly rooted in seeking the good of others.
Want to hear more?
Listen to Stacie as she discusses culture and discipleship in everyday life.