Characteristics of the Postmodern Culture
The postmodern culture is highly spiritual and views truth as inclusive. They take an eclectic approach to life and faith. They believe that all faiths ultimately converge at a common destination with no faith system being more right or wrong than another. This belief is undergirded by the denial of absolute truth.In the mind of the postmodernist, the reader determines the meaning of written text. Because the reader, in a postmodern culture, determines the meaning of all written text, no text possesses one meaning or one absolute truth. At this point, text and even words can be manipulated to mean whatever the individual wants them to mean which leads to a variation of truth. This poses a challenge for Evangelical Christianity that believes the Bible is God’s Word completely truthful and authoritative in all matters of Christian life and practice – its truth is absolute and is the only code for living and walking in righteousness before God.Outside of the philosophical realm, this culture is driven by relationships and marked by ideological thinking. It’s not enough for the postmodernist to come to a logical conclusion in matters of faith – they want to know that faith can be real in their life and relationships. They buy into faith systems that make sense and seem real in their world while desiring to serve others and meet the needs of the larger community or world.
Ministry for the Postmodern Culture
To capture the postmodernist, it will take genuine relationships that present absolute truth while demonstrating faith with action – a love for God that can’t be denied. This culture needs to hear an unapologetic presentation of God’s absolute truth in the context of genuine relationships.Because of the relational nature of the postmodern, it is critical for Christians to place themselves in the postmodernist’s world by building relationships. This generation will not respond to a religion that calls them in; however, they will respond to the true church that goes to them. Once their life has been touched, they will come. This generation is seeking genuine relationship with other people in relevant environments where they are intellectually engaged and challenged by the absolute truth of God and His Word.
For the postmodern Christian, attending church is not enough; they are looking for faith in action; they need to be involved with other Christians who “Believe God, Love God, and Act Like God.” This is radically different from the church that they have been accustom to while growing up – believe in God and live like you want, because God’s grace is sufficient. The Christian of the postmodern generation is less concerned about the form that the church takes and more interested in the function of the church – does it value people; does it act on its beliefs; is it real?
Really, the approach to the postmodern generation is very similar to the ministry approach of Jesus Christ. He stepped beyond the walls of the temple to be with the people he sought to reach. His forum for discipleship was not the higher education offered in the portals of the temple; his discipleship was in the streets, over a meal, in a field, on a lake – while doing life together. The basis of Christ’s ministry was to “go out” and communicate the absolute truth of God in practical ways.
Vision Statement of Ministry in the New Millennium
A united community of believers who believe God, love God, and act like God while communicating in words and deeds the truth of Jesus Christ to the world (others).