Where Faith and Culture Meet Participant's Guide: Six Sessions on You Can Engage Your Culture


Take Your Group to a Place …
Where they can see people’s needs in a new way
Where they can understand their calling
Where they will learn how their faith can shape culture

This six-session DVD and corresponding curriculum helps your group experience and envision how followers of Christ can be a counterculture for the common good. Together you’ll experience stories of other ...

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Where Faith and Culture Meet Participant's Guide

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Take Your Group to a Place …
Where they can see people’s needs in a new way
Where they can understand their calling
Where they will learn how their faith can shape culture

This six-session DVD and corresponding curriculum helps your group experience and envision how followers of Christ can be a counterculture for the common good. Together you’ll experience stories of other believers who changed the culture around them, including Andy Crouch, Mako Fujimara, Rudy Carrasco, Mark Buchanan, Tal James, Frederica Mathewes-Green, and others. You’ll watch how their journeys unfolded, their challenges, and their breakthroughs. Also included on the DVD are insights from trusted pastors and Christian leaders such as Tim Keller, Lauren Winner, James Meeks, Brenda Salter Mc Neil, and Ken Fong.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310280965
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Series: Intersect / CultureSeries Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Andy Crouch is editorial director for The Christian Vision Project at Christianity Today International and executive producer of Where Faith and Culture Meet, a series of short documentary films on Christians creating "a counterculture for the common good." He is a member of the editorial board of Books & Culture, and a senior fellow of the International Justice Mission's IJM Institute. His writing has appeared in several editions of Best Christian Writing and Best Spiritual Writing. He lives with his family in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

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Read an Excerpt

Where Faith and Culture Meet Participant's Guide

Six Sessions on You Can Engage Your Culture
By Andy Crouch


Copyright © 2007 Christianity Today International
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-28096-5

Chapter One

SESSION 1 BEGIN 1 Peter 2:9-17

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9


God calls the church to be a counterculture for the common good.

Culture is how we understand the world around us. It's about language and values, the common understanding of beauty, the media we share, and it's even about coffee. A coffee shop is a "place where you meet your friends, where you bring your kids. It's a place where people read and write," Andy Crouch says. "Food, friendships, creativity, architecture, politics, commerce-it's all here." In other words, it's culture.

Culture is a creation of people made in God'simage. And, as Crouch explains, it's also the scene of rebellion against God. These created people break God's law in every way in every place. Yet God calls his people to live counter to the culture, to live in God's counterculture It's called the church. And the most distinctively countercultural activity of that community is worship, where we honor not the false idols of this world (money, sex, and power mostly) but the Lord of Lords. Worship is where heaven meets earth so that our eyes can see beyond the horizon of history and death.

After God calls us into this counterculture, he begins transforming us. He does this so we, like Abraham, may become a blessing to the world. He calls us not to be a counterculture for our own salvation, but a counterculture for the common good. We tend what's beautiful. We mend what's broken. Using the means provided us by God, we show people where to find forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

OPENING (1 min.)

It's often said that Christians are to live in this world but not of it This is not an easy or comfortable tension. The winds of culture sometimes blow at the church's back, urging Christians toward love and good deeds. Yet sometimes the winds shift and fly right in the face of God's people. No matter the situation, God's calling remains the same-for his church to be a counterculture for the common good.


DVD notes

Culture is ...

The darker story ...

Jesus and culture ...

Asking the questions ...

DVD group Discussion

1 What is culture, according to Andy Crouch?

2 What is a counterculture? Name a few historical countercultures.

3 What is a counterculture for the common good?

4 We belong to a variety of overlapping cultures-generation, nation, local community, common interests, and so on. Describe the cultures you find yourself in.

5 What makes Christians countercultural?

6 Where do you see the hand of God in your culture?


Read 1 Peter 2:9 - 17 together.

1 How does Peter describe the church? How is this different from any other human institution?

2 How should Christians live, according to Peter? What is the point of doing "good deeds"?

3 What, according to Peter, should be the Christian's relationship to cultural institutions?

4 Are Christians already a counterculture? Or do they need to become a counterculture? Explain your answer.

5 What happens when Christians do not live distinct from culture?

6 How does God's counterculture attract outsiders?

7 What is broken about your church-your counterculture-that prevents it from working more effectively for the common good?

8 How does your church creatively engage its culture?

GROUP ACTIVITY (8 - 10 min.)

If you have enough time, we recommend that you choose one of these group experiences:

Optional Activity #1

Watch the last part of the "Begin" segment on the DVD, in which Ken Fong and Lauren Winner comment about the session topic. Discuss the following questions:

1 What comment was most interesting/revealing/helpful to you? Why?

2 What comment did you most disagree with? Why?

3 What, if any, further application is there for you or your church?

Optional Activity #2

Distribute Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (see: http://almaz.com/nobel/peace/MLK-jail.html). Select a portion for your group to read during your time together. Discuss how the civil rights movement in the United States acted as a counterculture for the common good. How does the letter challenge the church to live up to its countercultural calling?

Closing (1 min.)

The ultimate aim of this experience is to prompt thinking about what we can do together tomorrow, this year, and over the next ten years to create a counterculture for the common good. Pray that God will work in the hearts of your group to mindfully live distinct from the culture, yet for the benefit of all your neighbors.


To better understand your culture, keep a journal of messages you hear in media, from friends at work or school, and from your church's pulpit. Consider how these messages weave a cultural pattern but also how they might contradict each other.


Excerpted from Where Faith and Culture Meet Participant's Guide by Andy Crouch Copyright © 2007 by Christianity Today International. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Session 1: Begin God calls the church to be a counterculture for the common good....................9
Session 2: Dwell When we live closely with others, we find new opportunities to minister....................17
Session 3: Unite We serve more effectively and joyfully when we serve together....................25
Session 4: Reconcile God wants to heal our racial and ethnic divisions, especially in and through his church....................33
Session 5: Invest Transforming entire communities begins when we give ourselves to people, one by one....................41
Session 6: Abide Spiritual disciplines help us to abide in Christ so we can serve faithfully....................49
Appendix A New Kind of Urban Christian, by Timothy J. Keller....................59
How the Kingdom Comes, by Michael S. Horton....................65
Our Transnational Anthem, by Orlando Crespo....................71
Meeks Preaches Church Activism, by Mick Dumke....................77
Habits of Highly Effective Justice Workers, by Rodolpho Carrasco....................79
Loving the Storm-Drenched, by Frederica Mathewes-Green....................85
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