What is Cultural Discipleship?
Everywhere we turn our world is becoming more polarized. There is very little space for the mindful Christian to consider the complexity, beauty, and challenge of our everyday lives and share that life with others. We are asked to take a side, take a stand and be the loudest person in the room to be heard. We are encouraged to win arguments, not people. We often find ourselves hesitant to live out our faith for fear of alienating family, friends, neighbors, kids, and coworkers.
But this is not the way of Jesus. Jesus was winsome. He brought the Gospel with compelling attractiveness. He modeled all that was good and true and beautiful, while holding the deep conviction and compassion of God’s heart. He brought conviction without becoming combative. He brought compassion without compromising the truth and holiness of the Father he served. In the same way, followers of Christ are called to be invitational rather than confrontational, while standing firm in the unchanging truth of God’s word.
To find our way forward, in our lives, our families, and our communities we must rediscover his winsome way and help others live with confident conviction and uncommon compassion. This is the task of Cultural Discipleship: partnering with God in His work in our lives and the lives of others, living faithfully in this cultural moment. Cultural Discipleship is the integration of discipleship (partnering with God in His work in someone’s life) and worldview equipping (understanding and living biblically in the culture.) Simply, it is discipleship informed by worldview training.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to advance God’s Kingdom by inviting broken people to God’s redemptive love through the work of Christ. We often gather in our churches and long to help our children, neighbors, and friends. We have a deep desire to see our family and co-workers know the love of Christ. We long to walk with the struggling and grieving, even as we struggle and grieve. We desire to offer to others truth and grace, even amidst our own doubts and confusions.
Too often, followers of Jesus feel as though they must choose between loving their neighbor or living in the truth of the Gospel. Words like worldview and apologetics are seen as argumentative or merely academic, unconcerned with the deeper moving of the human heart and impractical in our current world.
Discipleship seems intimidating or something only trained professionals do. So we are left sitting in church, Bible studies, and our communities secretly longing for a faithful way forward in this moment. We feel the threat of a job loss, a family relationship, or a church brother or sister over disagreement. We want to be invitational and faithful to Christ, but we secretly wonder if our faith is too thin to bear the weight of the nuancing required to enter into our world’s difficulties.
We need both. We need discipleship to be demystified, caring for the heart and soul in all its complexity. We need deep worldview roots to thicken our faith and live in the fullness of our grand Story. We need simple, but not simplistic.
We need simple, but not simplistic.
If you wish to offer yourself to God in His work of inviting others into a more abundant and beautiful life, you are on the journey toward cultural discipleship. We hope to join you and help you as God thickens your understanding of your own faith in a way that can bring depth and nuance to your offering. May you no longer be caught off guard, unsure of what is happening in your world. May you know the Bible and why the commands, moral boundaries, and promises contained in the Bible are ultimately good for everyone. May you become winsome and invitational with those around you, caring for people’s hearts, minds, and souls. May you live with courage, clarity, and a confident humility that is firmly rooted in seeking the good of others.
It is our hope that God will raise up a generation of winsome followers of Jesus, proclaiming and reflecting the Gospel of Christ through the compassionate conviction of his Spirit.
Want to know more? Listen as Stacie talks with Life Reframed, a podcast of Fellowship Church, where she previously served for ten years. Discover why followers of Jesus are in need of this kind of discipleship in today’s world.