Suppose, for a moment, there is a man named James. James was set up on a blind date with a woman named Julie. When James and Julie identify one another in the restaurant and are seated by the host, and the waitress begins to place water on the table James begins the conversation saying, “When I saw you I knew right away there was something about you that I found interesting. You know what it is? You were born with one leg slightly longer than the other leg, which is why you walk with a bit of a limp. It is no big deal but I think you should see my doctor so she can have a look at it and maybe straighten you up a bit.” What does Julie do?

Or suppose for a moment, you walk along the street in Fort Worth with some friends who are trying to cheer you up after a long day at work. You turn to enter into a local business establishment, when someone you do not know says to you, “I know why you are sad and I know exactly what will cheer you up. You need to give more back to your community by volunteering.” What do you do?

As silly as these scenarios are, I have encountered non-Christians who have experienced Christianity as people who act like James and the unknown person. We have the stigma of meeting people, telling them what their problem is (sin) and then share with them the solution (Jesus). The Church becomes the judge and savior to people. Could this be why 87% of people outside the Church aged 16-29 view Christians as “Judgmental” (See the book Unchristian)? Yet not even Christ himself came to condemn or judge the world (John 3:17). Rather, Jesus spent much of his time talking with people (verses talking AT people). Jesus spent years on this earth cultivating relationships. He has a circle of 12 and an inner circle of 3. He listened to the man born blind and cultivated a relationship with him (John 9).

So I challenge all those who would take on the mantle of “Cultural Architect” to move away from judging and trying to save people and move into a life of cultivating as many relationships as we can. What would it look like if we stopped watching some of the reality television which makes us feel superior to others and called an estranged friend or family member? What would it look like if we stopped pointing our fingers at the proverbial liberals/conservatives and tied to listen to others with opposing views to work toward a compromise? I am not sure but I think that looks a little like the Kingdom of God.