Part of being a Christian in a culture is simply engrossing yourself enough in that culture that you know enough of its needs, its celebrations, and even its hurts. Part of reaching any culture or community in any capacity is having an educated understanding of that culture. It seems many Christians are without regard for their local community. We are prone to get in our car (parked in the garage), drive to work, and return to our garage to go straight into the house without any interaction toward or for our neighbors or our community.
Though this is the practice of most Americans in general, it is a physical example of an attitude that runs within us.
Though it is an attitude of most Americans, it cannot be the attitude of missional Christians.
Our attitude must be one, which desires to love our communities enough to reach them from an integral and sincere place.
Chris Huertz said, "Remember your community and celebrate the local--most people know more about happenings in Libya and Japan than our own zip codes."
That place within you has to be one that understands what is going on in the community around you. It means being able to answer two questions:
1. Where does my community hurt the most? 2. What can I do to help meet that need?
Answering those questions require our attention to some details we often overlook. We have to read those incessant community bulletins that flood our mailbox. It means we actually attend the community events in the local park, farmers market, community centers, etc.
It means we take notice of the ways our community is struggling by asking questions of our city officials and local organizations. These are the people who can likely tell you exactly where your community struggles or hurts most.
Be involved in your community. Care enough about your community.
It is the first step toward being a Christian in our culture.