LeaderLines – from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Bringing the Word to Our Changing Culture"
by Tom Goodman
March 3, 2006

Note: I thought the following article was worth passing along to you. I’ve provided a brief excerpt; if you want the full article, click here.
Sharing Truth with an Ever-Emerging Culture
by Rick Warren

In ministry, some things must never change but others must change constantly.  Our message of transformation must never change, but our presentation should be continually transformed, adapting to the new languages of our culture.  One of the strengths of Saddleback Church is that we're constantly adapting; we've changed styles of worship, programming, and outreach many, many times in the last 25 years, and we'll continue to do so because the world keeps changing.

The only way to stay relevant is to anchor your ministry to unchanging truths and eternal purposes but be willing to adapt continually how you communicate those truths and purposes.

Imagine a missionary going overseas and saying, "I'm here to share the Good News, but first you have to learn to speak my language, learn my customs and sing my style of music."  You can immediately see why this strategy would fail.  Yet we do that all the time in a culture that is in radical flux.

If we want to reach people in the 21st century, we must start thinking differently.  Paul said, "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." (1 Corinthians 9:22b, NIV).

Remember: the world changes but the Word doesn't.  To be effective in ministry we must learn to live with the tension between those two.

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