“Jesus is already present, working in every human culture.”
That’s how Andy Crouch begins Zondervan‘s new missional study, Where Faith & Culture Meet. I got hold of a preview copy — DVD and leader’s guide — and I like it so much, I’m going to use it for the next 6-weeks on Wednesday nights.
Produced jointly by The Christian Vision Project and Christianity Today, Where Faith & Culture Meet is a 6-session DVD-and-discussion format with leader’s and participants’ guides. (I’m still waiting for the participants’ guide, but the leader’s guide has enough info to give you the main focus of each session.)
Andy Crouch, editorial director for The Christian Vision Project, is your host on the DVD. He opens the series, then wraps it up at the end. In between are 5 stories of people and churches engaging their local culture missionally.
Summaries of Each Session
“Begin” is the first session and it opens in a — imagine this — coffee bar, where Andy orients participants to culture in both its beauty and brokenness. And, that’s where the church and followers of Jesus come in — to engage this culture in all its diversity with the transforming and incarnational good news.
Sessions 2-6 feature a variety of individuals, churches, and ministries engaging their local cultures — or at least a part of their local cultures. In the sequence titled “Dwell,” Mako, a Japanese-American artist, produces critically-acclaimed art in NYC, where he has chosen to live and work as an artist and Christian. Mako’s personal story of living through 9/11 is so touching, and timely, that it will move your congregation.
Session 3 — “Unite” — features two Atlanta families who work with minority children in apartment complexes in Atlanta’s urban sprawl. Session 4 — “Reconcile” — takes you to the beautiful Pacific northwest and to a congregation seeking to heal the generational wounds of racism suffered by native American tribes in British Columbia. Session 5 — “Invest” — zooms down to Pasadena, focusing on Rudy Carrasco and his “adopted” family member, Jamaal. Session 6 — “Abide” — focuses on the interior life of spiritual discipline as foundation for missional living.
A Quality, Missional Resource
The videography is excellent and professional, and the stories are compelling. There is a kind of “sameness” to some of the episodes because three focus on ethnic minorities, but the individual stories are unique.
If you’re looking for a missional resource to jump start discussions in your small church, this is a great place to start. Amazingly, 4-out-of-the-5 churches featured are small churches, so this should be a real encouragement to your congregation. Just shows that small churches can be missional churches that engage their culture effectively!
You can watch the video trailer here. Originally, this series was called, “Intersect|Culture” and only available from The Christian Vision Project. Zondervan has repackaged it, making it more accessible to church use and giving it wider distribution. Let me know if you use this series, and how your group responds. If you have other great resources, let me know and I’ll feature them here.