By Roydon Loveley
The Church in society today
The Church should be seeking to influence and change society. Unfortunately the general perception of the church in the media is that it is irrelevant and dying with just a few old ladies attending. Church leaders are generally portrayed as being weird, old-fashioned and stupid. Yet the Bible tells us that the church is the bride of Christ, something that He loves and is passionate about.
What God has called the Church to be
God's plan for the church is clear:
"...Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." (Ephesians 5:25-27, NIV)
"His intent was that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ephesians 3:10-11, NIV)
Areas of Influence
We live in a society that is in a mess. Despite the best efforts of government and politicians, things continue to get worse. So the question is, how can the church more effectively bring the wisdom of God to rulers and authorities and also to society in general?
One strategy that churches use increasingly is called the "Mountains (or spheres) of Influence." Sometimes people refer to this as "Seven Mountains of Culture." Formulated by Francis Schaefer, Loren Cunningham and Bill Bright in 1975, this method details a way to reach various people groups through the following spheres.
Originally there were seven areas of influence, which can be easily remembered by following the first 7 letters of the alphabet.
A = Arts. This includes the areas of painting, drama, sculpture, handicrafts, cinema, writing, dance, poetry, music and so on.
B = Business and commerce.
C = Church (or Religion). This also includes the areas of social service.
D = Distribution of Media. This includes newspaper, television, journalism, internet, radio, magazines.
E = Education. This covers schools, colleges, universities and informal training.
F = Family. This includes fostering and adoption, parenting and marriage counselling.
G = Government. Included are police, Members of Parliament and lawyers.
There are also other key areas that are outside these seven areas including Sports, Science & Technology and Health. We at King's Arms have decided to make an eighth, beginning with the next letter of the alphabet:
H = Healthcare
The areas of influence at King's Arms
King's Arms Church is a community of around 1,000 people, many of whom are already involved with or working in one or more of the eight areas of influence. We are seeking to bring together people in each of the areas so that they can get to know each other, share their experiences, learn from each other and – most importantly – work together to make Kingdom impact in their area/sphere of influence.
Specific ways of doing this will be by demonstrating the King's Arms culture of honour, generosity, acceptance, authenticity and courage.
If you are already involved with, working in or just interested in any of these eight areas of influence and would like to know more about our plans then please contact me here.