Engaging Culture

The Majority of the Population Doesn’t Shape the Culture

In most cases, when Christians want to impact today’s culture, we think it’s about numbers. We believe the myth that culture is changed by the majority. So we launch campaigns to win elections, or spend millions on advertising or evangelistic campaigns, or use mass media to reach the most people we can.

Nothing is wrong with any of those options, except for the fact that the majority rarely changes culture. When you look at the major social changes that have happened over the last generation, each of them started with remarkably small groups:

The gay community is a tiny percentage of the population, and yet they have made a massive impact on the culture in a remarkably short time.

The transgender community is an even smaller slice of the population, and yet transgender issues are on everyone’s radar these days.

Compared to live births, abortions happened behind the scenes for generations, and yet in our lifetime abortion has become the law of the land – a campaign created by what was then a minority of the population.

The list goes on from topics like euthanasia, marijuana, the “safe space” controversy, and more are issues that didn’t shift the national conversation because of the numbers involved, but because of the commitment involved.

The Early Church understood this and ended up changing the world.

Maybe it’s time we understood it as well…

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  1. Makes me think of one of the most life-changing books that I read and continue to read by monk who washed dishes, “Practicing the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence. You’re so right. We worship at the altar of Christian celebrity instead of trying to dial into the heart of God and express that in small meaningful acts towards our culture. I live 10 minutes from a worldwide ministry that began as a small idea – 24 / 7 prayer and blossomed into starting thousands of houses of prayer around the world. Mike Bickle sounded like a crazy man when he proposed this many years ago but it has taken on a life of its own. How we need more small simple ideas executed well to reach people.

  2. Looking at 2012 figures, between 1 in 6 and 1 in 7 pregnancies (15%) were aborted in the USA. Sadly not ‘behind the scenes’ any longer.

    Therein lies exactly your point. We look at figures. I was seconded for two years to a USA agency that worked with figures and created maps to illustrate them. A concern I began to have while I was there as the number of people who worshiped figures. The USA church and mission agencies put an undue emphasis on numbers IMHO.

    Jesus said ‘I only do what I see my Father in heaven doing’. Lets see what our Father is doing not where the trends are going and get on board with His agenda!

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