Cultural Trends Provide Opportunities for Evangelism
Andy Crouch recently wrote a thought-provoking article entitled, “Ten Most Significant Cultural Trends of the Last Decade.” Following is his list with my brief descriptions and suggestions for how these trends give us opportunities for evangelism.
1. Connection. In the United States, everyone has access to the Internet, one-third of us are on Facebook, and most of us have cell phones.
Opportunities for evangelism: since our sphere of influence is constantly expanding, we have increased opportunities for establishing meaningful relationships with people.
2. Place. Instead of going to where the jobs are, people are growing deeper roots to stay close to relationships and familiarity.
Opportunities for evangelism: there is a need for more localized missions and community-driven church plants.
3. Cities. People—especially younger individuals—are moving to the cities, whereas crime and poverty are growing in the suburbs.
Opportunities for evangelism: we need to define who we are trying to reach, and then specifically seek those people.
4. The End of the Majority. Cultural and racial majorities are fading as we are becoming a more diverse society.
Opportunities for evangelism: intentionally develop churches that have a heterogeneous approach. Design outreach efforts to diverse groups; provide worship services in the languages of the community, and hire multi-ethnic ministers.
5. Polarity. We are becoming more politically, socially, and spiritually polarized.
Opportunities for evangelism: share the love of Jesus with others to unify individuals and groups.
6. The Self Shot. This term was coined by taking photographs of ourselves, thus making us more aware of the image we portray to others.
Opportunities for evangelism: maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses so we can better show the characteristics of Jesus to others.
7. Pornography. Pornography has become easily accessible to people of all ages, making it less of a social stigma. We have lost some of our innocence as a society.
Opportunities for evangelism: teach children how to develop an inner moral compass and become spiritual leaders in their own worlds.
8. Informality. People in highly esteemed positions are becoming more informal in their dress, speech and actions, which affect the rest of us.
Opportunities for evangelism: Authentically meet the needs of others through service and the recognition that we are all sinners.
9. Liquidity. Financial security is more often found through risk and diversification instead of traditional revenue streams.
Opportunities for evangelism: learn from the financial world by taking risks—even personal risks—in evangelism rather than using traditional “methods.”
10. Complexity. Power is no longer controlled by cultural elitists, but is shared through a matrix of connections.
Opportunities for evangelism: we need to communicate that anyone can evangelize others. We don’t need a particular gift or position. We need to teach others how to make the most of their own talents and rely on God’s wisdom.
How else can our changing world provide opportunities for evangelism?