The 116 Life Ep. 15: Modern-day Church Culture; helpful or harmful to the kingdom?
From over-the-top theatrical productions to social media marketing, Ace and Mykael are examining modern-day church culture. How do we find balance in being mindful of the culture, rooted in faith, and effective in service?
Witnessing a shift
It’s official. The 2023 Resurrection Holiday made CHH History. From Transformation Church’s play Ransom to Angela White, FKA Black Chyna giving her life to Christ. This past Resurrection Day is one that will definitely be remembered for years to come. It is crystal clear; the kingdom is at hand.
No matter how you feel about Pastor Mike Todd’s production, it points to a conversation that the faith community may need to have about culture and how it affects ministry and service. Including asking ourselves, is the church, in general, doing too much?
“Whenever a church does a major production where they’re spending mad bread. To do a one-day production of something? I feel like that bread could be allocated differently,” says Mykael pointing out that Transformation church is very charitable.
But for some of the other big-budget churches, “I’m pretty sure there’s somebody in your congregation that’s struggling to pay rent that you could have helped with that money.”
Is it an error in stewardship? “I don’t think we need that to explain and show people that He has risen. If you have a really solid message, you’re welcoming and you’re serving them. I think that’ll do just as much if not more than doing crazy production.”
Positioning faith to infect the culture
How do we as Christians engage culture? Specifically, churches that incorporate entertainment into their ministries. “As artists or even people who work in entertainment, I feel like we have a duty to be cutting edge, to be on par with culture but also be careful not to be wonky with it,” Ace explains.
Are we trying too hard to make Christianity cool? Is Christianity even supposed to be cool? “It says it in the word ‘they’re gonna hate you like they hated me [Jesus]’. I’ve come to terms with that,” says Mykael. “You want to engage culture, but in a way that is authentic to the gospel.”
Black Chyna spreads the opps out
Angela White, FKA Black Chyna recently gave her life to Christ. She removed her cosmetic implants, erased her Baphomet tattoo, and was baptized. She even deleted her Only Fans account and posted a video on social media kneeling before the cross with Lecrae’s Spread the Opps Out. “That’s a sign of someone’s fruit. Having a transformation experience. It touched my heart,” Ace shares.
“Here is this black woman. She’s had work done on her body. All these things that culture is egging you on to do. And she’s basically deactivating those things and coming to the Lord. And she’s expressing it publicly. On Easter Sunday. Going to the cross. Using a song that we made,” Ace continues. “Seeing her reel, that song, and her moment, I was brought to tears. The gospel is still powerful!”
We must take special care in how we platform the gospel and engage different communities. “It can have implications on peoples’ walk,” Ace explains. In our desire to be relevant, we can miss the mark. We must be authentic and inviting. Most importantly, we want to be effective.
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