Summary: This message is the introduction to a four part series about how the church today needs to be involved in shaping every aspect of American culture.
Seven Spheres of Influence Series
Connecting to our Culture
(Introduction – Church)
There was a renewed sense of God’s presence and power as well as an awakened sensitivity to His purpose and calling.
As a result of Nehemiah’s effort...
Those OUTSIDE the walls CHANGED their opinion about who God was!
Nehemiah 6:16 (NIV)
16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.
Those INSIDE the walls started LISTENING to what God had to say!
Nehemiah 8:1, 3 (NIV)
1 all the people assembled as one man in the square…They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses…3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon…And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
Nehemiah 8:17b (NIV)
17 From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.
• To get tuned into God and His will for our lives and the church.
• To better understand our present culture.
• To learn how to speak the language of our culture.
• To influence and shape our culture on every level.
Seven Spheres of Influence in American Culture:
1. Arts and Entertainment
7. Politics and Government
Important questions about each sphere:
• How are Christ Followers to be involved in shaping this facet of American culture?
• How are we doing?
• How can we do better?
Scriptural Foundation for this series:
Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Our Mission: “To Make and Mature Disciples of Jesus Christ.”
Is Seymour First acting as the presence of Christ in the community and the surrounding area? Are we able to relate Christ in our culture? Are we truly missional?
Churches and individual Christians can be missional by doing what missionaries do.
Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT)
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NIV)
22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
“What did Jesus do? He did not open hospitals or found orphanages. He became flesh, lived among people and he embodied the Gospel message in its entirety…He lived his message before he spoke of it. He preached it by his life before explaining it in words.
This was Jesus’ method and we too easily forget it.” -- Carlo Carretto
Week 1 (January 20): Introduction and the Church.
Week 2 (January 27): Education and the Family.
Week 3 (February 3): Business and Politics/Government.
Week 4 (February 10): Arts/Entertainment and Media.
John 20:21b (NIV)
21As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
News Flash! NOTHING remains the same.
O God, open our eyes to see the things that are happening around us. Quicken our minds and hearts to interpret what we see so that, as You are trying to speak to us, we will always be ready to listen.
` — Theodore Parker Ferris