Church and culture: never the twain shall meet?
How do we as a church relate to the culture that surrounds us; this was the theme of our service on 12th August.
One option is to see the church as a bunker, a protection against the ‘evil’ things outside it; at the opposite end of the spectrum, there may be no difference between the two. We explored these ideas using lego to build a safe haven, then steam which disappears into the air around it, with a hazy boundary between what is ‘church’ and what is ‘culture’ (big questions in themselves!).
As a group we weren’t comfortable with either of these positions, so, using play dough and tea bags by way of illustration, we looked at other possibilities – how church can be changed by incorporating good parts of culture or how can church venture out into the surrounding culture seeking to influence and change it. Two different colour lumps of play dough can either be combined to create a new colour or can be set alongside each other. Whilst adding hot water to a tea bag meant that although the tea leaves remained in the bag they were altered by adding water to them as the water was changed by having the tea bag in it. This encouraged us to consider how church and culture were interrelated and interactive, and reflect on how they can be infused in the most refreshing and healthy way.
The service was in part inspired by the book ‘Christ and Culture’ by Helmut Richard Niebuhr.
This blog post written by Shelia