CNLP 237: Ed Stetzer on Why Christians Are Losing the Culture War, How the Culture is Changing, and What’s Next For the Future Church

There’s no question everything is changing in culture and the church and few people have their finger as tightly on the pulse as author, blogger and thinker Ed Stetzer.

In this wide-ranging interview, Ed talks about the culture war and why Christians are losing, how to use your social media voice, how the culture continues to change and what’s next for the future church.

Welcome to Episode 237 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Episode Links

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CNLP 193: Clay Scroggins on How the Digital Disruption is Changing Everything for Churches and Businesses

Evangelical Christians Helped Elect Donald Trump, but Their Time as a Major Political Force Is Coming to an End by Nina Burleigh

The Terms of Our Surrender by Ross Douthat

Internet Church Isn’t Really Church by Laura Turner

Leading Change by John Kotter

Leading Change without Losing It by Carey Nieuwhof

Evangelical Writer Kisses An Old Idea Goodbye by Sarah McCammon

Our Kids by Robert Putnam

Leadership Pain by Samuel Chand

Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power by Andy Crouch

Reflections: A GC2 Summit

3 Insights from Ed

1. The Christianity faith is not declining

Some people say that Christianity is declining, but Ed is actually encouraged by the numbers he sees. A decline in nominal Christianity is creating an increase in a more serious, robust faith among believers.

What’s going away is nominalism, but the percentage of people who are devout Christians isn’t shifting, which means there’s still so much opportunity for the mission force to continue engaging the mission field.

2.  You can’t war at people and reach them at the same time

You don’t have to spend too much time scrolling social media to find angry Christians voicing opinions about current events. Their judgmental voices are being heard loud and clear. Unfortunately, a lot of the people hearing them aren’t believers. They don’t know what the love of Jesus looks like and they certainly aren’t seeing it played out within the posts and comments of many of His followers.

Christians are absolutely allowed to have and voice opinions, but in this ever changing culture, when everything seems to be turning more and more secular, the question is what is more important? For Christians to attempt to win debates with harsh tones or to show and share the love of Jesus to a broken and hurting world? Jesus did not call us to get angry at a secular world. Even in what feels like the hardest of times, He has called us to love.

We must remember that spewing out anger and judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy. You can’t war at a people and reach them at the same time.

3. Nothing good happens without some pain in the process 

Few good things exist in life, if at all, that don’t come with a side of pain. Love, marriage, parenting, family, work, success, leadership – they are all wonderful things, but nothing good happens without experiencing some level of pain in the process.  There’s really no way to escape it.

Leadership is often a willingness to lean into the pain that other people refuse to lean into. Many people don’t realize how difficult living through life’s experiences is going to be. They aren’t ready or preparing for the challenges ahead. As a leader, make sure you recognize and can be secure in the fact that pain is inevitable in your own life, so that you can lead others through the painful parts of all that is good within theirs.

Quotes from Episode 237

You can't war at a people and reach a people at the same time. @edstetzer Click To Tweet The sky's not falling, but the ground is shifting. The question is, in the midst of a shifting ground, will Christians step up and show and share the love of Jesus in a broken and hurting and world. @edstetzer Click To Tweet Judgement is a terrible evangelism strategy. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet Nothing good happens without some pain in the process. @edstetzer Click To Tweet Leadership is often just your willingness to lean into the pain that other people refused to lean into. @edstetzer Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 237

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author

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Next Episode: Lysa TerKeurst 

The last three years of Proverbs 31 President Lysa TerKeurst’s life have been almost unbelievable: discovering infidelity in her marriage, and living through both cancer and another life-threatening illness. Lysa shares openly and honestly about how she lived and led through the deepest personal crisis of her life, how she battled disappointment and how she figured out which parts of her life should be kept personal or private (and why secrecy is such a bad idea).

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 238.

CNLP 237: Ed Stetzer on Why Christians Are Losing the Culture War, How the Culture is Changing, and What’s Next For the Future Church

1 Comment

  1. Lovisa Brown on January 11, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    White evangelicals and POC evangelicals in the US often differ in system thinking i.e cause and effect of social issues. Ed S. quoted many white populated countries as being leaders in the Christian faith omitting Latin America and African countries who also have strong circles of Christianity. As an African American consistent listener I would like to encourage more coversations with POC Christian leaders. You’re a great interviewer and know these conversations would be insightful as many issues are similar with a different lens worthy of sharing and learning from.

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