The Church in Culture

Calling and Role

We look at war, genocide, child labor and often mourn the evil we see in our culture. If Christians are called to be a light in the dark world, how should the church be involved in changing culture? Christian leaders and pastors Michael Horton, Tim Keller, and Matt Chandler discuss whether or not the church should be involved in culture and individual Christian’s responsibility to influence culture. 

Dr. Michael Horton is the founder of the White Horse Inn, a multi-media catalyst for reformation, is the editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine, and co-host of the White Horse Inn radio broadcast. Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. Matt Chandler serves as Lead Pastor of Teaching at The Village Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  

Michael said the church as an institution has no calling to change culture. However, the church should equip disciples to go into the dark world as a light—to influence, create, and transform culture. 

According to Michael, Matt, and Tim, what is the role of the church in culture? Do you agree? Why or why not?
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How do you see the people in your church making an impact for God’s kingdom in culture? How does your church empower people to go into the world with the gospel?
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Tim and Michael cautioned pastors against political involvement because pastors represent the church in many ways. If you’re a pastor, how does this statement resonate with you? Have you gotten involved in politics before? If so, what impact did it make in your congregation? If you’re not a pastor, how has your church’s involvement or noninvolvement in politics shaped the way you view the church’s role in culture?
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What do you see as your role in changing culture? How does your job or position in life create space for you to create, participate in, or even change culture?
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What could you do this week to share God’s love in your neighborhood, workplace, school, or home? In what ways could you become an agent of positive change in your surrounding culture?
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Even if you believe the church has no place in culture, as a follower of Christ, you have the unique call to share the gospel wherever you go—a message that can revolutionize a culture. Go throughout your week looking for people to show Jesus’ love to and see how God moves.  

To learn more about the Gospel Coalition, click here.