“If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes.” As I travel, I’ve heard people say that in so many places I have no idea where it came from. I also know I’ve never heard it where I live in California. The saying here would be, “if you don’t like the weather, drive 50 miles.” We have what meteorologists call micro-climates. Drive over hill, across a river, up a mountain and the weather changes – often dramatically.

I’ve observed the same thing about culture. In the last month I’ve had the privilege to speak at three new churches. Each was unique in ways that were evident by just walking in the door.

  • One was culturally diverse.
  • One was filled with teenagers.
  • One was filled with well-educated and well-traveled people.

That didn’t seem to be of much significance until I considered that each church meets less than 20 minutes from my house, each church is part of the same metropolitan area and each church reflects its own local culture. Each church planter must exegete his micro-culture.

Lloyd Kwast wrote an article called “Understanding Culture” that can be found in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. His outline provides 4 helpful questions that I find myself asking often.

Behavior: What is done?
Values: What is good or best?
Beliefs: What is true?
Worldview: What is real


What question are you using to exegete your context?

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