By Stephen Boster –
Last spring, I had the opportunity to teach New Testament at Park University in Parkville, MO, a great school with great folks. As I taught, a used a certain phrase in every class period – Context is King, stressing the importance of reading the scriptures and understanding them in their context. Many times, students would have questions about passages and their applications that were totally not matching up. You know what I mean by taking stuff out of context.
Well, Ministry Pornography is doing just that. Just like in a marriage, pornography gives you a false perception of reality of sexuality in a marriage and can warp your relationship with your spouse. Ministry Pornography can do the same. We can be so quick to attempt to apply new techniques without really taking into consideration ‘Would this apply to my context?”
I have been skimming Samuel R. Chand’s book, Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code, where his first chapter is entitled “Culture trumps Vision”. Wow, have I learned that the hard way. Vision casting, in my case, was always about applying the latest idea or church model. What I learned through the school of hard knocks revolved around understanding the Culture, specifically Contextual Culture of where I am serving.
Know your people – the people that our Lord has granted you the opportunity to shepherd. Ask them questions, “How is your Spiritual life?”, “How are you?”, or “You doing okay?” Not only do these basic questions show your shepherding care for your people, but also they provide a spiritual thermometer to the needs within YOUR context.
I remember a seminar I attended at Minister of Education Boot Camp in Ridgecrest, NC several years ago. Allan Taylor, Ministry of Education at FBC Woodstock, GA, stated very clearly concerning Sunday School and the church – “It’s about the people, stupid!” I cracked up! We enjoyed talking during the seminar about remembering that what we do is about the people.
People are our context. We need to know them to know their needs and therefore what strategies we need to employ. The next entry we will cover, how do we keep our focus?
- Know your context.
- Love your people.
Do you find in true in your context that ‘Culture trumps vision’?