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More on Christian Subculture and CM

02-01-09_15141I ran into a new blog a couple of days ago from another person in children’s ministry. It’s called Just Pudge. I found the latest blog entry on Christian subculture interesting, especially since I blogged my thoughts regarding that same topic a while back. Check out what Pudge wrote.

Here’s my comment to his blog post:

I think we do a great disservice to kids (both churched and unchurched) whenever we try to perpetuate a mentality that says, “You have to be a part of my subculture, or you are wrong.” We are called to shape the future and be a part of the culture around us. Now, that doesn’t mean we conform to the culture. We need to be able to communicate God’s timeless truths in ways that can be heard in our time and in our culture. We cannot do that effectively if we huddle in our barracks, speaking our secret codes, and laughing to our insider jokes. We must reach beyond a Christian subculture and be transforming agents in the greater culture around us. That means each Christian context will look a bit differently from another one because each will be flavoured a bit differently depending on the surrounding culture. Now this is a messier way of looking at Christian influence in the greater culture, but I think it has far better chance of being effective than simply perpetuating a subculture that simply does not fit the context it is in.

We need to equip the children and families we minister to to be able to read the culture around them, interpret it, and become culturally effective.

4 Responses to “More on Christian Subculture and CM”

  1. Brian Jones January 4, 2009 at 7:10 am #

    I remember when I first saw that sign in Jay’s office. I was bugging him to put it in Doug’s office. :)

    I took a quick peek at the website of the people who run that site, and to give them the benefit of the doubt, it seems like the majority of their staff is 40 and over. They could be kind of a case study in how generations are different (in the way they communicate their message).

    Anyway, back on topic. When it comes to thinking about sub cultures, a good place to start might be to make sure that we’re not turning children’s ministry into a sub-culture, isolating itself from the rest of society, or even the rest of the church itself; the church does it’s thing in the auditorium, while the kids do their thing in the gym.

    Also a sub-culture can form around how CM curriculuums are developed (inside the CM world), and how CM ideas and dialogs circulate in the CM blogosphere (made up mostly of children’s pastors and curriculum developers). Not that any of it is a bad thing, but it’s how an isolated sub-culture can be formed if it’s not kept in check.

    You always need to collaborate with others outside of CM world, such as parents, teachers in the public education system, etc. And don’t forget children themselves.


  2. henryjz January 4, 2009 at 8:21 am #

    I couldn’t agree with you more Brian. One of my passions is to really try and help churches develop a more holistic view at spiritual formation and the direction of the church as a whole. Churches talk about getting rid of silos and integrating what they do and working together and sharing resources and planning together, but so few actually do it. One big thing is that no one really knows what that looks like, but for me that is exciting! It’s a bit messy and it requires A LOT of relational time, but I am finding that it is worth the work to make it work. I think it starts with staff members who oversee the different age groups to actually talk with each other outside of staff meetings and work and play together. Does that mean we put everyone into one big room every week? By all means, no. There is still a need for age appropriate worship and teaching. The key is building a culture that sees spiritual development as something that is 24/7 and not just a Sunday thing. It takes the church living out an integrated life where kingdom living is not just about what happens around church and church activities. Kingdom living is just how one lives all the time.


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