Mark Batterson always challenges me - this is a guy that you must add to your RSS feeder or Bloglines list if he's not there already.
Below is a quote from his blog today - this is timely and timeless information.
Church and Culture
As I see it, the church has four options when it comes to engaging culture: 1) ignore it, 2) imitate it, 3) condemn it, or 4) create it. And each option leads in polar opposite directions.
We can ignore culture, but the byproduct of ignorance is irrelevance. The more we ignore culture the more irrelevant we'll become. And if the church ignores the culture, the culture will ignore the church.
We can imitate culture, but imitation is a form of suicide. Originality is sacrificed on the altar of cultural conformity. If we don't shape the culture, the culture will shape us.
We can condemn culture, but condemnation is a cop out. Let me just call it what it is: condemnation is spiritual laziness. We've got to stop pointing the finger and start offering better alternatives. If the church condemns the culture, the culture will condemn the church.
Those three options will lead the church down a dead-end road to irrelevance, but there is another option--the only option if we're serious about fulfilling the Great Commission and incarnating the gospel. We can compete for culture by creating culture.
In the immortal words of the Italian artist and poet, Michelangelo: criticize by creating.
At the end of the day, the culture will treat the church the way the church treats the culture. And we're not called to condemn. We're called to redeem.