AMY BUTLER* confesses that she envies Baby Boomers, reveals why this year’s Navigate Forum was so important and encourages all readers to dive into the six videos from the conference. Find the links to all the videos at the end of this short blog.
I confess that sometimes I envy my parents’ generation. Baby Boomers lived through a prosperous time when Christianity anchored mainstream culture. Even if people weren’t necessarily converted or church goers, there was a common acceptance of the Christian worldview.
For decades now there has been a shift – occuring at what seems like exponential speed – when Christian thought is on the outer. How to engage with this changing culture was the topic of the Gospel, Society and Culture committee’s Navigate Forum, titled ‘Engaging our culture for Christ’. Social Researcher Geoff Brailey from McCrindle Research and Pastor and author Stephen McAlpine were keynote speakers.
Geoff, drawing from research into the attitudes of Australians towards spirituality and faith, encouraged us that there are still many and varied opportunities for Christians to speak into the culture and into the lives of their neighbours. He emphasised that the greatest drawcard to the church is its people, living out lives of genuine faith with integrity.
Stephen talked about his work as a church pastor and as a minister to city workers with City Bible Forum. He talked about the challenges Christians are face in the secular world and the important role the church has in equipping their people to live well in ‘Babylon – a foreign and even hostile landscape.
Following these keynote addresses were four reflections from people in the Presbyterian Church – Pastor David Maher, Chaplain and Religious Studies teacher Jiye Kim, Freedom For Faith’s Rohan McHugh and Town Planner and business director Michelle Chapman. Each reflection offered a unique perspective on cultural engagement as the people of God, individually and corporately.
I came away from the day encouraged and positive about the future. I reflect with thankfulness for the culture that allowed the faith of my parents to flourish and, as I look to disciple my own children in an unfamiliar culture, I do not lose hope. We have challenges to face, no doubt, we rest in the grace and sovereignty of God.
It was wonderful to take the time to put deep reflection and thought into these issues. All the talks were recorded and are available here. They would be excellent for sessions and Bible study groups.
Scroll down to see all the speakers
Geoff Brailey, from McCrindle Research
Other useful McCrindle Research resources
- Top trends in 2022 here The Future of Church and also the Changing Landscape of Australia reports here.
- McCrindle infographics here
- Australia Towards 2031 here.
- McCrindle podcast, The Future Report – excellent insights on the generations, being a futurist, leading teams and more.
- Geoff Brailey’s slides used in the presentation here.
Stephen McAlpine – Being The Bad Guys
Major Trends in Australian Culture
David Maher’s slides used in the presentation – here
These are the two papers David referred to in his presentation:
Alex Joske’s policy brief Foreign Interference and the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front System.
ACMA’s report to government on the adequacy of digital platforms’ disinformation and news
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
*Amy Butler is a member of the Gospel, Society and Culture committee. She has broad interests, including culture and how a Christian worldview shapes the way we live and engage with those around us.