The Steward Follower Living in a Post-Truth Culture
I’ve lost track of how many worldviews are present in culture today. They have morphed into existence during my journey with Christ that directly or subtly challenge truth established in Scripture. We have moved from the post-Christian to the post-modern to the post-truth culture in recent years. The impact of the post-truth worldview is yet to be fully manifested. Whether the media or the professors or the latest books, we are told facts and truth have no bearing on life’s journey. Rather we are taught to embrace and hold sacred our feelings and emotions while setting aside known truth.1
As Christ following stewards of God’s truth, we must lead and follow in a manner that champions the principles established in Scripture influencing every facet of life. We are not free to submit to the current philosophical fads. We are compelled to live as Christ and to share the truth of Scripture albeit with grace and mercy. This is a difficult challenge and one requiring personal discipline and prayer.
I propose that the dynamic of being a steward follower provides unique opportunities for communicating truth with grace and love.
Why steward follower?
The idea of being a follower in today’s post-truth culture may be repulsive when compared to the glory of being the “leader.” Yet from the perspective of a Christ follower, why not apply the steward follower principles to our engagement with the culture. The steward leader/follower is defined as one who shares the owners Mission, Objectives, and Vision or “MOVe.” The owner in this case is the Lord and His MOVe is clearly defined in Scripture.
I am a Christ follower… what does that look like in my daily walk with Jesus? How do I reveal God’s truth to those who have differing faith claims in a compelling and compassionate manner despite the opposition of the “no absolute truth” viewpoint so prevalent today? The steward follower recognizes that to be effective in relationships where truth is being expressed, ideas must be clearly and respectfully imparted for the sake of the Gospel. Oftentimes I can’t be the leader in that dialogue but rather the steward follower of the truth I am attempting to promulgate. I want to MOVe those in the dialogue into relationship with Christ as steward followers!
Jesus commands us to testify to His truth (Acts 1:8) and this requires that we apply His truth to the multiple dimensions of our daily journey with people of all faiths. When we operate in this manner most of us are in the follower mode, sometimes leaders, but mostly followers. I don’t own the conversation but I do own the vision of the Gospel and mission Christ committed to us as believers.
Implicit in this discussion is the notion that the steward leader and follower are also responsible for knowing “the adversary.” In this case, the adversary is the faulty ideas circulated by those championing the post-truth perspective. It is incumbent on each believer to be a student of the Gospel and student of the culture we wish to influence for Christ (Rom 12:2). We are joined in a spiritual battle trying to unseat the philosophies of this world ingrained in the hearts of the people we are trying to love and grow in relationship with.
Armed for battle whether I lead an organization, speak to large audiences, participate in a small group, or enjoy one-on-one conversation, I take the role of the steward of God’s MOVe. I can direct the dialogue as a steward leader. But when I am in more informal settings, I likely need to take the roll of follower. This actually is a more challenging duty as I take His MOVe and work toward catalyzing the hearts of those I am relating to through the work of the Holy Spirit. By gentle and considerate persuasion, the steward follower helps shape the dialogue in a manner that draws people into His truth and begins to dismantle the fallacies of secular worldviews. Relationships demand time and energy coupled with wisdom. Look for those opportunities to share anecdotal references to God’s absolute truth and how He can shape those feelings that seem to drive responses.
My heart is for those who don’t know Jesus or the truth of Scripture. Perhaps the steward follower approach may win over those who subscribe to the post-truth worldview to the lifesaving Truth of Jesus Christ.
References: 1 John Stonestreet, ‘Post-Truth, the Word of the Year’, in Breakpoint, ed. by Gina Dalfonzo (Lansdowne, VA: The Colson Center for Christian Worldview, 2016).
Dr. Kip Warton has led the development and operation of unmanned aircraft systems at the US Air Force Academy. With over 35 years of experience, Kip has lead, managed, and worked alongside people from small groups to large, multi-level organizations with broad managerial experience including technologically advanced systems.
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