Earlier this month, Resurrection Church had the unique opportunity of hosting an evening of worship and learning that brought together the communities of three Stadium District churches.
The event included teaching from First Presbyterian Church, New Community Church, and Resurrection Church; with worship led by musicians from New Community Church. The teaching focused on our call as disciples of Jesus Christ, throughout the South Puget Sound and beyond, to shape and to engage the culture around us.
Pastor Eric Jacobsen, of First Presbyterian Church, spoke about the fragmentation of the culture in which we live, and the importance of our intentional placement within it. Citing God's intentional placement of Adam in Genesis 2:8 as an example for us, he taught “You now live in a particular place. And I believe that God can use that place to grow you as a disciple, and to utilize you in His mission to reconcile all of creation to Himself.”
He went on to discuss some of the common barriers and distractions to loving our neighbors that are hardwired into our culture (i.e. - television, mobile devices, isolation from neighbors), and how we can overcome them together; stressing the importance of church covenant community, which he believes can “pull us out of the insularity and the fragmentation our culture is commanding on us.”
The second speaker was Pastor Bo Noonan, from New Community Church, who opened with a reading of Colossians 1:15-20. He talked about what it looks like to see Jesus preeminent in all areas of our lives, including our careers; presenting an illustration of the “8 Domains of Society.” These are eight categories of work that can be found in every society in the world (family, economics, agriculture, education, etc.); and each of us falls into at least one. Pastor Bo explained that we need to break and denounce the cultural lie that we have a church life and a separate work life; seeing instead the need for Jesus' reign in all areas of life. He emphasized that “if we are people living under the reign and rule of Jesus, and we're submitted to the reign and rule of Jesus, then we need to invite His jurisdiction, and His reign, and His will, into our domains.”
The final speaker of the evening was Pastor Bubba, of Resurrection Church, who spoke about our ability to engage culture through our stories; recognizing that everyone has a story, and that their story is a part of God's greater story. He stated that “when we understand that to influence people and shape culture requires us helping them understand that they’re part of a greater story than themselves, then we will look for opportunities to connect them to God’s story.”
To illustrate this, Pastor Bubba shared the account of St. Patrick, the first missionary Bishop, who engaged the “unreachable” people of the story-loving tribal culture who once held him enslaved, through sharing God's story with them; inviting them in to become a part of it themselves.
Samuel, who attended the event with friends Mark and AJ, resonated particularly with the idea of sharing stories. He shared this thoughts: “I think telling a more compelling story is pretty huge in evangelizing. And really telling a story that implies that there’s something more than just being saved… a redemption of our lives and the passion that we have in Christ to share Him with other people."