Ministry and Evangelism in Cultural Context (MECC)

written by Dr. Mike McQueen, Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies

MECC is my favorite course to teach at Urbana Seminary.  The official description is:

“A critical analysis of the contemporary social and cultural context from a biblically informed perspective, focusing on God’s mission (missio Dei) in the world.  Attention will be given to the social processes that have shaped our culture, to understanding the relationship between church and society, the relationship between the individual believer and those who do not believe, and to the churches’ prophetic call to produce reconciliation and transformation.  Consideration of the implications of postmodernism and a pluralistic society.”

To simplify, the course objective is to help students look at the culture in which they live with new eyes for the purposes of being better able to minister to it.  If you would ask a fish what water was, the response might be, “Water?”  If you’d ask a flying fish you’d get a very different perspective.  Having seen the world from a different perspective, its primary environment takes on a totally different look.  We live in times in which, if we’re paying attention, we should all be experiencing a degree of culture shock.  But like fish, we need to get outside of our traditional cultural perspective long enough to see what we’re missing.  Through readings and discussions, media and first hand experimentation, we will try to better understand the cultural megashift of the last forty years and how we can help the church become a better vehicle for bringing the Kingdom of God to our friends, neighbors and coworkers.  This will include some theory, some techniques, and finding tools to help us deal with both our churches’ and our personal cultural blinders.

Questions we’ll consider include,

  1. Is a Christian culture possible?
  2. What is postmodernism and the emergent church?
  3. What kind of evangelism can reach Americans today?
  4. Is the era of preaching dead?
  5. How do we deal with sexual anarchy in society and the church?
  6. Can the tyranny of the urgent be overcome in my personal life and ministry?


We will also cover the changing demography of age, counseling and the therapeutic culture, and leisure, entertainment and vocation.  If we have time we’ll even touch on politics and media.  Discussion tends to be lively and I think it is an important, and fun, class.