Subcultures: Now we are seeing such a dramatic fracturing of Western society into a range of subcultures, even in the suburbs, that one-size-fits-all is increasingly outmoded. This is called the subculturalization or tribalization of the West. In fact, it could be argued that the megachurch in America thrives mostly in monochromatic baby boomer suburbs. Having said that, we recognize it is a great generalization, and we don’t seek to explain the success of the megachurch phenomenon.
A few months ago, D and I were driving home in the evening from a date night. It was a weekend night and we drove through a parking lot that was literally filled with high school kids and their cars. It was like a scene out of "The Fast and Furious." Very wild. Reading that quote reminded me of that night - a vast, complicated subculture in a normally monochromatic baby boomer suburb.
Here is a list of some of the subcultures I come into contact with on a regular basis:
- groupings of Indian people at work, getting coffee, going out to lunch together, speaking in their native tongue
- young families, such as mine, getting together for kid parties, dinners together, etc. in local restaurants
- high school students hanging together at the mall
- more and more groupings of ethnic affinities, even in the suburbs
- college/young adults and their own church service
How about you, what are some subcultures you find?
Church: Church planter Andrew Jones cleverly says, "Any church that cannot get by without buildings, finances and paid experts is not fully being church."
Yup, people that must.
Leadership: If we could do church all over again, we would build clear leadership philosophy and vision, recognizing that imaginative, godly, biblical leadership is absolutely vital. It is the strategic area of leverage for change. We would focus on this first and keep focusing on it. It will be important in planting incarnational churches that the leader select a team only on the basis of a clear, demonstrated commitment to stated philosophy and vision. We have found that some people who can cognitively agree with the philosophy of the incarnational-church mode, still have great difficulty with it in practice. The attractional mode is so pervasive and so entrenched in the Western church that those who have grown up in it sometimes have a kind of default program in their imaginations.
If you are a leader, you would probably agree with me that this is much, much easier said than done. It is one thing to cast vision, to put your goals and values on paper, to talk to people about the direction you want to go. There is a big difference between someone who congnitively agrees versus embodies it with all of their being.