Yesterday, I asked a group of pastors if they believe minister’s should address pop culture related topics in their messages. Over 1500 pastors responded to the survey. A whopping 74% of them said, “Yes”—ministers can and should talk about culture from the stage.
Recently, I chatted with Ministry Pass’ Content Manager, Wade Bearden, about pop culture and the Bible. Along with leading our sermon series planning department, Wade is also a film critic in his spare time. His work has been featured on Christianity Today, RogerEbert.com, and ChristandPopCulture.com. He’s also gearing up to help launch a new podcast on film and television in the next few months.
Here’s a quick summary of our conversation about pastors and pop culture:
1. Jesus used the common imagery of his day to illustrate deep, spiritual truths, we should do the same. Seeds, sheep, and vineyards; Jesus utilized all of these pictures to help an ancient middle eastern culture understand the Kingdom of God. We too should leverage our contemporary culture’s interested in film, television, and art to communicate the message of the Bible. Films are modern day parables. Facebook is a contemporary form of communication. Use these to teach people about God, the Bible, and Jesus’ plan for humanity.
2. Addressing and/or discussing popular culture will generate interest from those both inside and outside of your church. Some individuals won’t think twice about darkening the doors of a church, but they love a good discussion about their favorite television show. Talking about popular culture can actually be a way to love your neighbor. It meets them where they are, helping them to see God’s beauty in the media they consume.
3. Culture should not inform the Bible, but we can use the Bible to inform culture. Pastor and writer Mark Batterson once said, “So often in the church, we’re talking about things that no one else is talking about.” People want to know how the Christian faith relates to their world. When we address culture in the church, we communicate the importance of viewing everything through the story of Jesus. The gospel informs every facet of our world.
You can listen to our entire conversation in the video below. I believe it will be a great resource for you as you talk about popular culture in your local church.
Here is the link to the Shades of Gray sermon series referenced in the interview: CLICK HERE