Engaging post-Christian culture doesn't require candlelit rooms, art and liturgy, says John Burke. The Austin, Texas, pastor issues a call to the Church to dive into the muck of cultural America and engage a broken world.
What do a Buddhist, a biker couple, a gay-rights activist, a transient, a high-tech engineer, a Muslim, a 20-something single mom, a Jew, a couple living together, and an atheist all have in common?
They are the future Church in America.
Most of them are in their 20s or 30s and became followers of Christ in the past five years. And now, many of them are leading others in our congregation at Gateway Community Church in Austin, Texas. Over the last six years since we launched Gateway, we've seen that this is the generation the Church must reach if it is to survive. It's an eclectic generation on a winding, wayward spiritual quest, and the Church has an incredible opportunity to be a guide for the journey.
I must warn you upfront, however, doing church like this is a mess … but it's a beautiful mess! Many churched Christians who came through the doors of Gateway in the early days just couldn't handle the discomfort of having so many seekers around them. They would hang out in the lobby after the service, strike up conversation and slowly realize that the person they were talking to held none of their "sacred beliefs" about abortion, sex before marriage, evolution or other hot topics of Christian subcultures. After a conversation like that, they usually scared each other off. Read More.