Engage and Influence
I hear talk frequently about how we need to engage popular culture. But what does that really look like? Culture is made up of the customs, arts, social institutions and achievements of a particular nation, people or other social group.
Most often in the church community, I hear things like “pop culture is bad and designed to influence in a negative way what you think and feel, so we shouldn’t have anything to do with it;” or “you can’t be a Christian and be involved with pop culture” or “if it’s Christian it’s okay but if it’s mainstream it’s not.” Obviously, not everything in pop culture is good, but these narratives are not correct nor are they going to bring about the change that needs to happen.
If you’re going to engage pop culture – and make a difference – it involves observing it and reading about it in order to better understand it. Once we better comprehend pop culture then we can intelligently engage it and create positive solutions for areas of concern.
The Bible describes it this way in 1 Chronicles 12:32 (NLT). “From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.”
As we become students of culture we need to pray for God’s wisdom and insight. Then He will direct us to put together a practical strategy for change. While voting is a privilege, as well as a responsibility, it’s only the beginning. We must also be actively involved in doing what we can to bring about change. Mathew 5:13-16 reminds us that we are called to be “salt and light.”
We should be actively involved in influencing culture instead of just pointing out all the problems without offering any solutions. As followers of Christ, we are not to retreat or isolate ourselves. It’s not enough to engage popular culture from a distance. Instead, we should strive to be changemakers by being actively involved as we see life through the lens of a Biblical Worldview.
Ask God where you can actively be “salt and light” to more effectively engage and influence what’s happening in pop culture.
Steve Russo is an internationally-known communicator, best-selling author, professional drummer and host of the internationally syndicated daily radio feature Real Answers. He’s also the host of Utalk – an innovative radio/podcast and TV show for teens and young adults. He’s been a featured speaker for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and co-hosted “Life on the Edge Live!” Focus on the Family’s teen talk radio show. For more information about any of the media as well as Real Answers outreach events and resources: write to P.O. Box 1549, Ontario, California 91762; call 909-466-7060 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: realanswers.com.
Copyright 2021 Steve Russo
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