Sunday, January 23, 2005

How do we reach subcultures?

Just got home from a day helping out the footy club run the local once a year Rodeo, its quite a big fundraiser for the club and it was great to help out and spend a day with the boys down there. Its funny, because I think its becoming more and more common knowledge that I'm a minister, so getting heaps of comments about it these days.

But I was sitting on the hill looking out over these 2000 rodeo spectators, and just reflecting on how much of a massive subculture it is. Utes covered in bundy stickers, big hats, singlets and standing around talking shit with a drink in hand, they're in their own little world.

It made me think of a story Frosty tells in Shaping of Things to Come(an awesome book if you haven't read it) about how you would go about sharing the life of Jesus with these model car enthusiasts he saw.

Traditionally we'd try and put on aservice with a rodeo theme, have a speaker from their circuit, and try and get them to a church service. Now that approach isn't totally bad, but its still that attractional mindset. He would prob suggest that people go and incarnate into that culture, live amongst them etc-an approach that totally resonates with me a whole lot more.

I struggle with the integrity of joining that group just to tell them about Jesus-but thats another post.

I wonder what other good or bad approaches to reaching different subcultures people out there have seen?


Anonymous said...

I think I understand what u are saying digger... Now I'm not a big one for anything where there could be pain ( and blood etc) involved but on New Year's day I found my self at the Sprintcar championships... before the race began the speedway chaplain spoke to the crowd and prayed for S.E Asia and of course most importantly the nights events. The chaplain spent the night walking around and talking with everyone this guy talked normally to these car loving motor heads but at the same time he was spreading the news of God and these people lapped it up. maybe it was because of what had happened in S.E Asia or maybe because he just spoke how the spoke and didnt try to be any different about it. For me it was an amazing thing to witness as I tend to have trouble witnessing.
Is that the sort of thing you where talking about?

Roo said...

hey digger, as far as the integrity goes for hanging out with them when you have the alterior motive, i dont hink you have a problem dude. If you boarded the titanic to warn the passengers it was gonna sink would you feel guilty and decide to just enjoy the trip :-) (i have never been great with analogies, but i heard that somewhere before and it gave me a jolt)

Anonymous said...

G'day Diggs..

Paul was a classic example of going into another culture

1 Cor 9:20 - To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.


Digger said...

Yeah I love that kind of chaplaincy, just being part of a community, living it out amongst them etc. My question with that kind of chaplaincy is always 'How do we translate that barrier-breaking, relationship building into a community of faith?' Because if we just leave people with a nice taste in their mouth and don't offer them the oppurtunity to follow Jesus themselves-are we missing out on the potential of chaplincy work?

Yeah thats a good little one isn't it Andy-my favourite thing Paul says is Acts 18 where he talks about the unknown god etc, great contextualisation.

Digger said...

Yeah I see where you're coming from there Roo, but I still don't know. If you got on the boat and people didn't think it was going to sink, they'd just tell you to get stuffed.

Thats the thing with the whole postmodernity thing, people just aren't convinced that easily by black and white arguments(neither am I to be honest).

Ometimes i struggle with the ease with which people claim to know if the ship will or won't sink. (Sorry, thats totally stretching the analogy too far!)

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