3 Habits for Raising Your Cultural IQ

We don’t live in an Acts 2 environment – where you can stand in the public forum and say, “Repent and be baptized” and assume everyone will know what they are repenting from or understand the symbolism of baptism.


We live in an Acts 17 environment where effectively communicating the gospel requires building a bridge to what people already know like Paul did when he used an altar “to an unknown God” to introduce his audience to creator of the universe.  If that is our context, where do you find the idols and poets like Paul did?

Here are some suggestions for raising your Cultural IQ to become a better bridge builder and communicator to an Acts 17 audience.

Listen to the Music of your Culture:

  • Find out what the 3 most popular radio stations are in your area and listen to each once a week while driving.
  • Use iTunes or Spotify to listen to the top 20 songs once a month.
  • If you live in a place where live music is more than 8 people at the bowling alley singing karoke, make a commitment to hear local artists 4-6 times a year.
  • You can’t watch ‘em all, so know what the hottest shows are and watch one a week.  Don’t think paying for premium cable is a good use of God’s money, then learn how to use free sources to watch online.
  • You can’t go to ‘em all, so know whats raking in the money at the box office and get out once a month to see it.

Watch the TV and Movies of Your Culture:

(The great part of these activities is you can leverage them to build relationships too.  Don’t watch alone.  Invite your friends, neighbors and co-workers to watch with you – then ask them what they think and feel about what you just experienced together.)

Read the Opinions of Your Culture:

Since you’re reading this, you’re online and you’re a blog reader – why not set up Google Reader to sync your blog subscriptions so you can read on the run when you have a few minutes of down time or waiting.  While your adding this blog to your reader, think about adding these too:

News blogs:

Hit and Run – http://www.reason.com/blog/

Michelle Malkin – http://michellemalkin.com/

America Blog – http://www.americablog.com/

Daily Kos – http://www.dailykos.com/

Pop Culture blogs:

Gawker – http://gawker.com/

Pop Candy - http://content.usatoday.com/communities/popcandy/index

Men’s/Women’s blog:

Divine Caroline – http://www.divinecaroline.com/

Feministing – http://feministing.com/

GQ Blog – http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q

I can promise if you do all three of these things you will at some point be offended, hopefully heartbroken and ultimately better equipped to build a bridge to the good news about Jesus.

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