Data about the culture’s view of Christianity isn’t encouraging.
- In 1996, 85% of Americans who had no religious commitment viewed Christianity favorably (Source: 2007 George Barna study).
- In 2019, nearly half (47%) of non-Christians had some level of negative feeling toward Christians (Source: 2019 Barna study, The Brand of Evangelicals).
Some of that negativity is fueled by seismic cultural shifts in recent decades. Tolerance rules above all other values, which means that any religion that claims a corner on truth is suspect.
Also problematic is poor communication. Christians often have a reputation for displaying judgmental attitudes. We don’t disagree well.
How can today’s Christian community respond to a culture that’s growing increasingly post-Christian? Will we hunker down in isolation? Or will we find creative and meaningful ways to convey truth and to minister to hurting people with the Gospel?
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Engaging the Culture in Winsome Ways,” I’m talking with best-selling author Philip Yancey, who has spent years investigating how believers can be salt and light to others as followers of Christ.
Philip shares three keys for reaching someone with the Gospel:
- Love – Human beings instinctively seek two things: meaning (a sense that life matters) and community (a sense of being loved).
- Humility – Propaganda turns people off; humbly admitting mistakes disarms.
- Universal experiences – Communicating faith to skeptics is most effective when it emphasizes the ways we’re similar, rather than the ways we’re different.
Philip also shares three facets of life for communicating the Good News:
- Pilgrims – Pilgrims are fellow travelers on the spiritual journey – not professional guides.
- Activists – Not primarily political activism, but reformers on the ground who work to serve the common good.
- Artists – When believers create art that speaks authentically to the human condition, the world takes note.
Join us for our conversation on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app as we discuss what it looks like to engage nonbelievers in a winsome way.
Before I close, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Philip Yancey’s book Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
You may also be interested in a free online booklet we’ve written called, “Coming Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family,” which explains what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.