Here’s the continuing Q&As from the Outreach/Tony Morgan questionnaire:
What’s happening outside the church that should influence innovation inside local churches?
The biggest thing happening outside the church is that most people are not looking to the church for anything. Because of this, any attempt at being innovative may very well be seen as the second grader who didn’t get chosen by the red team or the blue team, so he’s showing off his cool moves on the side of the field, hoping someone sees.
What we need is to be communicating the message in ways our communities understand. This is a critical component of understanding where the church fits in a culture full of innovation. Any innovative influences from the “outside” should be studied from the perspective of impact, not impression. What is working and why? Not what is cool and how can I use that in my church. Just because blogs are cool doesn’t mean everyone should have one.
Do you believe the Church has influenced past cultures? Do you think the Church can still influence culture today? Why?
Yes, the Church has influenced past cultures–for better and worse. From Martin Luther to the Pope, history if full of church impact. And we can still influence it today to the extent we’re not trying to. Martin Luther didn’t wake up one day and decide he wanted to influence culture. He did realize he had a problem with the way things were, and was so moved by his convictions that the future of the church would literally be changed because of his convictions. Likewise, we must be motivated by our convictions–our love for the lost, our repugnance for sin and our commitment to God. This is what will drive our influence. We don’t seek influence, influence follows us.