Category Archives: Postmodernism

Post Modernism – Part 9

Ministry in a Post Modern Context, continued.

This is the last post on this probably too long look at postmodernism in ministry.  We’re finishing up today by looking how to minister to the post modern need for holistic involvement.  This one is tough, because it has connections to the desire for authenticity that the post modern has as well.  What makes it even more difficult is the burden it places on us as established Christians to reach into the non-Christian post modern context.  More on that in a minute.

The need for holistic involvement developed in part as a reaction against compartmentalization behavior.  You need to understand that some compartmentalization is a necessary part of personality, and men tend to do it more than women.  The type of compartmentalization that post-modernism is reacting against is the type of two-faced, intentional separation of character from context to context.  For example, acting like one person when you are at home and acting completely different when you’re "with the guys". 

Post moderns want whatever they are involved in to be a part of their lives as a whole.  They often seek gifts/interests oriented employment to facilitate this desire.  Nothing changes when they find a religious aspect to their lives.  It is not a Sunday morning type of thing, but rather a holistic part of themselves.  This is great for churches that can truly minister and connect post moderns.  Once you have them as part of your family, they are there to work for the long haul.

How do we facilitate this need for holistic application?  Here’s the top of the list:

– Be a holistic congregation – Many of our churches are not set up to support the holistic need that post moderns have.  We are traditionally a Sunday/Wednesday group and don’t typically extend our church relationships beyond that time frame except for the occasional church activity.  Becoming holistic means spending time in each other’s lives and finding regular places to meet during the week in a relaxed a casual environment.  Breaking the Sunday/Wednesday mindset is probably the biggest obstacle to our churches connecting with post moderns.  Finding the "third places" in our lives that we need will be essential.

– Application – Post Moderns need sermons and lessons that are full of narrative as well as application.  I want to know specifically what I need to do with the message that you’ve just given me.  It is one thing to preach about the fruits of the spirit.  It is another thing entirely to say, "Now go and find a way to live this in your office during the week" or "Stop yelling at other drivers in traffic.  It doesn’t matter that everyone does it or that your window is up.  Stop it."  Strong application helps the post modern develop the holistic lifestyle they want.

– Teach it like its expected – The concept of holistic Christianity needs to make it into the undercurrent of your congregation.  It isn’t just good for post moderns, but for everyone else as well.  When you talk about holistic living as though it is an expected part of congregational life, post moderns that happen to be floating through will find an immediate connection point.

– Give them holistic activities – Why stop at encouraging them to be holistic?  Why not provide them with the holistic structure to help make it happen?  If you provide the resources for holistic living, you’ll connect post moderns like you wouldn’t believe.  Keep it informal, but provide different options.  Pick a two hour window for members to meet at a local coffee house in the evening or a two hour window for breakfast in the morning.  Make it casual and come-and-go.  We have a Thursday Night Coffee House that doubles as a small group and also provide a monthly movie night for the typical age bracket that post modernism covers.  The options are limitless, so experiment and have fun.

That’s all I have to say about post modernism in ministry.  There’s lots more to be said, so if you have any questions or comments please make them known.  The recommended post modern reading will be up in the next day or so.  We’ll make it as a post so that other readers can add their preferences to the list as well.  Thanks for following along with us! 

Post Modernism – Part 8

Ministry in a Post Modern Context – Continued We discussed a few posts back about the value that post moderns place on communicating using narrative and meta-narrative.  This value parallels closely with the value of dialog and discourse.  They are both ongoing concepts that lend depth and value to the existence of the post modernContinue Reading

Post Modernism – Part 7

Ministry in a Post Modern Context, Continued. The third theme of postmodernism that I introduced in Part 4 of this series was the postmodern’s search for deeper meaning.  They are no longer content with "Because I say so" or "Because it has always been that way" type of answers.  Postmoderns are often quite happy withContinue Reading

Post Modernism – Part 6

Ministry in a Postmodern Context I suppose the best frame work for this part of the discussion is to take the main tenets of postmodernism and look at them in the context of ministry/church life.  That way we get eight posts out of it and we should generate a very good discussion because of theContinue Reading

Post Modernism – Part 5

This is a continuation from yesterday where we started looking at major themes in postmodernism.  Tomorrow we’ll start looking at ministry implications within the postmodern context, mostly based on the items in the lists for the last two days.  These are the final four themes in the list that I would count as essential:  Continue Reading

Post Modernism – Part 4

We’ll get back to our discussion of postmodernism today after taking a brief break for some other responsibilities and a wonderful Easter weekend.  If any of our guests to our services happen by this blog, thanks for making Sunday such a great experience! Main Themes of Postmodernism In preparing for today’s discussion I was remindedContinue Reading

Post Modernism – Part 3

A question was asked about references for the material that we’re discussing.  I’ll post a list of references at the end of the discussion so that you’ll have some other sources to look at.  We’ll call it a recommended reading list. The development of Modernism As with most social movements, modernism developed in response toContinue Reading

Post Modernism – Part 2

I can tell by the overwhelming number of comments to yesterday’s post that this is one of the favorite topics of my readers (there was one comment).  Once we get through a day or so of definition, we’ll start looking at postmodernism in practice, and that will be a lot better.  In fact, here’s anContinue Reading

Post Modernism – Part 1

Postmodernism Defined  One of our small groups studied a book a year or so ago that was very postmodern in its approach.  I was concerned about this group studying this book, mostly because they were a group filled with modernists.  One of those group members has started attending our Thursday Night Coffee House where weContinue Reading