For instance, when was the last time you saw a TV show or movie where the form was people making statements and then seeking to prove them? Purely deductive sermons--once the norm in churches--are now death for communication. No speaker comes in to an audience--even a Christian audience--with enough clout to pull this off consistently. People are already skeptical.
- Sermons need to have practical application and inspire people to actually take action.
- Bible classes need to be much less about knowledge--which can be found anywhere on the Internet--and more about real life issues - marriage, relationships, child raising, friendship, Christianity in the workplace, how to reach out. And because people are dealing with different issues, we need all kinds of "classes" in all kinds of places.
- Elders need to spiritual life coaches, not board of directors. Younger people are dying for mentors, role models, marriage examples, and people who care about them.
People today say, don't tell me about the doctrine of grace. Tell me how grace can help me forgive my wife or husband. Or make me not beat myself up. Or be kind to my children when they are acting like little rebels!
Many college administrators are bemoaning the fact that college students are not that interested in philosophy and are so pragmatic. They want college students to receive a broad based foundation that goes beyond an immediate job and helps them learn how to think. There is value in this. But if no one signs up--whether for a major or for something church related--then this thinking does no good. A more integrated "curriculum" that provides broad based thinking while emphasizing practical application may be a necessity for today's pragmatic society.
And, after all, shouldn't Christianity "work?"
What do you think of the pragmatic emphasis in culture? How should this be applied in the church? What should be avoided? What is good about this?