Let's now look at the C. U. L. T. U. R. E. your Target Group.
C - Commence with your Culture!
Our starting point must be our target Culture, not ourselves. Statements like “How can we make others fit into our group more easily” can be fraught with all kinds of dangers. While this seems an admirable desire and will come into play later, it is not where, I believe, we should start.
We need to start well because everything else builds from this. If we get it wrong here, everything gets skewed. We are setting up foundational things for your God-given ministry in regard to your family. As every builder knows, if the foundations are wrong everything up the line is effected.
God himself emphasizes this in several different contexts in Matthew 7:24-27 and Ephesians 2: 19-20. Sure, these (and what I'm teaching here) don't refer to the same actual thing. However, all agree on the vital aspect of getting foundations right.
A little further down we're going to be looking at 'Understanding your Culture'. Each Family DOES INDEED have a different Culture. This involves asking Key questions like 'What is valued most within your Families Culture?' I'll be detailing this later, but for now think on this. What you value (even if you are part of this culture) may be very DIFFERENT INDEED to what is generally valued within that Culture. Let me give an example.
As a Christian Father and Grandfather, I value relating to God above all. All of what I do revolves around this. Sadly, this is not what a lot of my Family even contemplates, let alone value. So giving them full in your face Gospel tracts results in little fruit. I (and my Wife) go a different route. We offer something that is a Key concept, but is valued by the BOTH of us. Let me explain further.
Kid's Sports on Sundays is a key part of even some of my own grandchildren's lives. This applies to my Wife much more than me. She is an avid supporter of her Grandchildren's sports and loves going to all the games. She adds value into our Children's and Grandchildren's lives on their terms, not hers. We even found a church that met on a Friday night, freeing her up on Sundays to keep doing what she does best, adding value to her Children's and Grandchildren's lives.
What's the big takeaway here. My Wife connects with our Family in ways they see as valuable, even if it means we have to rearrange our lives some (Friday Church). Guess what? Our Eleven year old Grandson came to our Church's Holiday Club, extensively because of the connection he had with his 'Nanna', rather than just doing his own thing with friends he knew. He knew nobody at Church, except for the fact his Nanna and Pa went there.
I use this story as an example from my Family. It's something I did. It's probably something you would not do. I use it to illustrate a principal which I DO want you to use.
It's amazing what happens when you start with your Target Groups Culture.
What 'powerful' pathways, simply 'ways of living', that mean the most *TO YOUR FAMILY* can God use to introduce himself through you? Start thinking of a few now.
Next Time in Part Three, we shall understand more about how to truly know and use your families unique culture.