Create a Contrast Culture in Your Church

Jonathan Leeman | March 5, 2013


Church leaders who stop by our little house of worship in Washington sometimes ask what we have done to produce all the discipling, evangelism, and hospitality they see. What programs are we using?

It's a 20th-century American way of asking the question. Church growth has been viewed in business terms for at least half a century, so the questioner assumes some program has birthed these activities.

But our answer points in a different direction. We say we want to develop a culture of discipling, and a culture of evangelism, and a culture of hospitality. And so we offer tools, not programs.

What do we mean by a "culture" of these things, and how do we cultivate such culture?

Church as a Distinct Culture

Think about the local church as an embassy from the future. It's a formally constituted gathering of Spirit-indwelt kingdom citizens who proclaim and display Christ's end-time rule. They gather to declare their king's warnings and promises, and they gather to formally affirm one another as kingdom citizens through the keys given by their king, which they do with baptism and the Lord's Supper. Here are the laws, and here are the passport holders.

What's…


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