There are so many messages and voices vying for our attention in our world today: Billboards, media soundbites, tweets, emails, texts… all feeding us information. Sometimes it can feel like a data smog – unable to see a way through. What we need is the loving and authoritative voice of the God who made us and redeems us. God speaks to us through the Bible and the primary way he wants it to be communicated is through preaching (2 Timothy 4:1-5). Consequently faithful preaching that is empowered by God’s Spirit and insightfully applied is central to our gospel community.
Engaging the heart
Often in our culture there is a false divide between intellect and emotion. Some elevate intellect emphasising that we are ‘rational’ beings, others elevate emotion saying “if it feels good – do it”. The Bible shows us that the core of the person is their ‘heart’ (Romans 6:17 , Ezekiel 36:26-27). The heart is the seat of our desires. Desires are not less than intellectual but they are not merely intellectual either. In the same way our desires include our emotions but are more than just our emotions. A way of thinking about our desires is that they include both our intellect and emotions. Consequently our ministry will seek to engage people’s hearts to live transformed lives to the glory of God (Romans 12.1-2).
We are all creatures of our culture; the music we listen to, the books we read, the films we watch, the art we enjoy. When the Bible was originally written it spoke in language and ideas that connected with the culture it was written into. 2000 years later culture has changed a lot but people are fundamentally the same – with the same core issues. The challenge for Christians today is, relying on God’s Spirit, to communicate God’s timeless truths and realities in a way that connects (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Consequently, we want to be both faithful to the bible and creative as we engage with the culture God has placed us in.