Blog Entry


Over the past number of years, I’ve started to notice a shift in how regular people talk about God. This is a shift I’ve seen primarily not in the church, but in the culture around us, specifically with my family, friends and neighbours.

The shift has been in moving from talking about God, to asking where to find God. And, I want to unpack what I mean by that.

What I’ve noticed in culture is that people don’t seem to ask me so much about God as they once did. They don’t seem to ask me as much about specific theology, doctrine or “what” we believe. The “what we believe” questions do matter, but what I’ve noticed is that they aren’t often the starting place. 

Instead, the starting place has been about my experience or encounter with God. People ask me how to find and experience Him, what it's like, why it matters, etc. Instead of questions on specific doctrines or beliefs, I get questions like, “What is prayer? Why go to church? Can you actually encounter God? Where is God in this (insert any life situation)?”

Here is why this matters: As evangelicals, I think we are more prepared to talk about God, then to help people experience God. We can share an argument, information or book about God, but people want to actually encounter God. And, this shift is an opportunity, because if people encounter God, they will be so much more likely to follow Him. 

We now live in a more curious, experience-orientated, story-driven culture. What this means is that having all the right information about God won't change lives unless we can actually help people to encounter God.

If you are a follower of Jesus, I think the Number One thing we need to do in our culture is this: Develop a habit and a rhythm of connecting with God personally and communally, so we can share that connection with others. We need to be so enmeshed in God’s presence, that we can welcome others into it. I think a new focus in evangelism won’t just be sharing information, but instead sharing an encounter.

So, what this might mean for you and for me is that we need to prioritize spending time with God, over just learning about him. And, in this way, we might be then able to introduce our curious friends, families and neighbours to Him.


Comments


By Gerry Walker
I think you are very much on to something. In a recent survey in North America people were asked if they had "mystic God experience." An overwhelmingly 65% of the population indicated this, in spite of dropping traditional attendance. How could this be? Read more with a new book written by Diana Butler Bass entitled, "Grounded." I recently got introduced to the book by my book club in listening to a podcast ...just google Rob Bell with Diana Butler Bass and you will get a flavour about the book. It is indeed exciting times. The three tiered universe is being replaced by a 1 tier! God is with us and amongst us!
By Christine Catterall
Amen
By Jacob Braun
How true! It could not have been said any better.
By Andrew Mills
Hi Gerry - thanks so much for your comment. And wow if 65% of people have had a mystical experience then we have some common ground to talk about!! How cool! And thanks Christine and Jacob :)


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