Engaging the Culture II (Listening and Observing)

When Paul encountered Athens, a city full of pagan idols, he intentionally began to listen and observe. What did these people believe? How did they act? What was important to them. It is fascinating to see his methodical study of their idols and altars, looking for a way, any way, to bring the good news of Jesus to this people in need. 

Yes, he spent time in the Synagogue. This would have been the place of familiarity and common root beliefs. But Acts 17:17 tells us that he spent time there AND in the market place. He didn't limit his exposure to the "safe" people, but he ventured into the heart of non-believing people. 

As he listens and observes, he finds the open door and introduces the Athenians to the unknown god they have been worshipping. Powerful!

How are our listening skills? How observant are we of the culture around us? What keys in our own post-Christian culture can we find that will allow us the opportunity to introduce Jesus to our friends, our co-workers, our families, our city, our nation, the world? 

Our "Taking it Home" assignment this week was:

  1. This week, take note of your “listening skills”. Ask around. Ask your kids. Ask your spouse. Ask you co-workers … do I listen well?

  2. As a Family: Choose an age-appropriate topic in which you differ from the culture. Talk about it. Ask questions. Invite kids to think and respond. Talk about ways you could engage someone with a different view.

  3. Embrace the truth: “He is not far from each” … GREAT NEWS!!