Ambassadors from His Kingdom to this Culture
We Are All Ambassadors
As ambassadors, we are representatives from one nation to another. The apostle Paul provides Jesus followers with more than just the title of ambassador. In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul calls us to live as ambassadors of God’s heavenly nation, which we are currently citizens, to the nation where we are currently living. Jesus followers are called and equipped to bring His kingdom to influence this culture.
Generally, people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care about them. That’s why we say influence comes out of relationship. In order to influence this culture, we must continually deepen relationships with people steeped in this culture. An ambassador’s kingdom influence is proportional to their relationship capital.
Some try to influence by using position and title. While positions and titles may work to some degree in schools and workplaces, they are non-starters in personal relationships. Relationships must begin where people currently reside in their maturity, life experience and their degree of faith.
In leading my kids to the Lord, I began building a relationship with them from the day they were born. For those early years before they accepted Jesus, I could not talk with them with the level of wisdom and cognitive development I had as an adult, but rather I had to adapt to them as children. It is possible to contextualize an approach to share truth without compromising it. In building relationships to meaningfully share Jesus, we must choose to begin loving people (not condone sinful behavior) just as we find them. Similarly, God does not require a person to change to prepare themselves to come to faith, but rather God works His love and obedience in the person once there is a relationship of faith.
In God’s sovereignty, we find people where they are. We are to build relationships from that starting point, prayerfully seeking influence to share more as an ambassador sent from God. If evangelism and discipleship are the end goal to love God and love them, then how do we nurture relationships to build influence that will calibrate our voices in such a way to share the gospel and disciple others in the words, works and ways of Jesus?
Reaching Out In His Name
The elders and staff have been praying and working on what God would have us do to build relationship among every generation. We have a team who is currently working on building even stronger and deeper community among our seniors. If you are interested in helping us dream, you can reach out and let us know.
Simultaneously, we have been seeking guidance on reaching the generation that is leaving the faith faster than any other demographic. While there is no one strategy or silver bullet to solve this crisis, the elders and senior staff have a few ideas that we have unity around.
Phase one of moving more effectively toward this generation is picking up on something that Good Shepherd began when it built the church. Years ago, a music studio was begun, however it was never finished. In the next few months, the music studio will be completed. The studio will be a venue where musicians can gather to write songs, find community and record demos. Our prayer is for the music studio to create a space where community among musicians and singers can be discovered.
Dream with me for a moment…wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our music teams lead us on the weekends with music written by Good Shepherd musicians? One day, it may be possible to download Good Shepherd music to sing to as we run and bike.
Creativity is not limited to musicianship. Because we are made in the image of a creative God, every one of us is a creative. For us who are not musicians, our creativity may be expressed through the visual arts or thought leadership, to name just a few ways that we imitate the Father. We are in the design stage to renovate a portion of the Haley House (the white house on the left as you exit the parking lot). This venue will serve as our thought leadership studio for creative thinkers and creative problem solvers.
This studio will certainly be used by many people, but it will also be used to strategically nurture and develop the younger generation. Imagine a monthly gathering where we have national leaders speak into our younger generation to shape their creative minds with the mind of Christ and the wisdom of God. Imagine our next generation of creative thinkers being intentionally invested in and invited to help us explore kingdom opportunities.
If you would like to learn more about the ministry we refer to as “Kingdom to Culture,” you can visit gscc.vision. It is our prayer that as ambassadors of Christ, we can bring kingdom influence to the culture where we live.