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When my grandparents were growing up, a boy would get a job at some time in his adolescence, graduate high school and move out of the family home, and then get married…in that order. When I was growing up, culture was shifting—a boy would hit adolescence, date at least a few girls, hopefully finish school and maybe attend college, then at some point in the next few years settle down and get married. Today, a boy barely reaches adolescence, begins to date many girls, gets sexually involved, many times moves in with the girl to make ends meet, lives with her for several years, has children with her, hopefully gets married once the stars align, and in a high percentage of these scenarios, ends up divorced with kids who are bounced between parents and blended families. What a culture shift!

Recently I have pondered the question, How do we as a church respond to an ever-shifting culture? First I will give you a few thoughts and then share something I think is really encouraging.

When facing a shifting culture, we must…

  • Remember that God’s Word does not change. Whatever the issue or cultural debate, the final answer lies in the Bible.
  • Be careful not to make the Bible say things that it doesn’t. My approach to the Scriptures cannot be an effort to validate my lifestyle or choices; it must be an approach that looks to discover truth with no predetermined position. This is not an easy task.
  • Attempt to understand the reasons behind the cultural shift. If we don’t understand the “why” behind the “what” that is happening, it is likely that we will respond in an unhealthy way.
  • Make our best effort to bridge the gap to culture. As a pastor, I am constantly asking how I can effectively help individuals who are genuinely seeking God, yet inundated by shifting cultural norms, take their next steps toward Jesus.

This list is not at all meant to be comprehensive in nature; rather, it is meant to point to Sunday, August 30 (part five of My Crazy Family), when I will be sharing something that is way outside of the box and I want to invite you to be a part of it. We are about to do something as a church that, to some, will be radical; to others, a breath of fresh air; and to all, very memorable. Don’t miss it!

Carl Nichols

A native of south Atlanta, Carl has a passion for God, Julie, and sports. He and Julie have two sons, Jase and Trey. They have a heart to see people understand how crazy God is about them! Carl is the Lead Pastor at Relevant.

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