Thursday, March 13, 2008

Breaking the Missional Code: The Emerging Glocal Context

I just started Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer. I’m reading it with our Outreach Director to see if it can help us reach our culture better. The first chapter addresses the changes culture are undergoing and how the church is largely stuck in modernity while postmodernity is where most people live.

Stetzer uses the term “glocal” to refer to global and local realities that are converging in America. The changes are so significant that in former times seekers would go to the church first, but now it isn’t high on the list – if it is on the list at all. If the church wants to make an impact, we must engage the culture as missionaries, not just be evangelists.

What are the changes in culture? The culture is largely unchurched – even those who go to church are not discipled by the church as much as culture. Our world is more culturally diverse than ever. People/affinity groups are what bond people together. The church needs to understand these micro-environments. There are also subcultures that need to be understood and ministered to – nursing homes, jails, college campuses, etc…

Each chapter ends with some questions under the title, “The Breaking the Code Challenge.” I need to work through these for our Cypress area, but they may be helpful for you personally in your area. Here are the questions for chapter 1:

1. Describe the specific people groups, population segments, and/or cultural environments that make up your geographical context.
2. What are some practical ways you can begin to expose those you minister with to opportunities to break the code?
3. How would you define success when it comes to the Great Commission in your given context?

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