Jesus commanded his disciples and all Christians to go into the world and preach the gospel, as recorded in Matthew 28:19. This verse does not mean to only send missionaries to foreign lands but also into our neighborhoods and local cultures. The very next verse instructs us to start locally and branch out from there. The "world" does not have only a geographical connotation, but I believe, a cultural emphasis as well. To reach our world with the message of hope, healing, and salvation found through Jesus Christ there must be a willingness to interact, converse, and confront the culture outside the walls of the local church. Christians are never going to go into the culture by just sitting in church. Jesus never said to invite people to church. Don't misunderstand me here, I am NOT saying we should not do this. That is important and can serve a real purpose. God can use your invite to expose someone to the gospel. The point is that Jesus spent most of his time engaging the people of his time with conversations aimed at drawing them out of their ways and into His Kingdom. He even confronted religious leaders who were stuck in tradition and powerless religion. Too often Christians are stuck in their church buildings with others who think, dress, and smell like they do. How many Christians would be willing to talk to a homosexual, atheist, or anyone with whom they may not agree. How many would be willing to even eat a meal with those of a different lifestyle. One of the reasons why I like speaking at the mission is that I get to eat at a table with those of different beliefs. It is an opportunity to converse with them. What happened when the disciples spoke out bodly for their faith and did Spirit-filled things in the sight of their godless culture? Let's scan through the Book of Acts and see. As one flips through the pages of this book the following phrases describe how the culture reacted to the ministry of the disciples. *They were "greatly disturbed"(4:2). *They had "nothing to say in reply"(4:14). *"Great fear came upon all..."(5:5). *"There was much rejoicing in that city"(8:8). *"The next sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of God"(13:44). *The disciples "reasoned with them from the scriptures (17:2), reasoning and persuading them about the Kingdom of God (19:8), and one individual even said, "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian" (26:28). As Christians we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Light exposes darkness, and salt is a preservative. Spiritual light can bring people out of Satan's kingdom of darkness, and salt can preserve righteousness in the midst of a fallen world in rebellion against God. If Christians stay in their own little corner we will never be salt and light. Here are some ways to be involved in your own particular culture: 1. Volunteer in places like missions where you will have opportunities to interact with others of different beliefs and lifestyles. 2. Get involved in the political process. 3. Stand up for Christians being persecuted, and losing jobs, incomes, and businesses because of their beliefs. 4. Go to local cultural and civic events with the express purpose of establishing relationships with people. 5. Make comments on social media that may cause people to think about spiritual matters. The point is not how big a church is, but what is it doing to interact and converse with the culture? The first church had only 12 people, the disciples. The early Church made a difference. Things were not the same. It was not "business as usual." It has been said that the first-century Church "turned the world upside down." None of this was done, however, without the filling and power of the Holy Spirit, which is mentioned 40 times in Acts. There seems to be very little talking and emphasis about the Holy Spirit today. This is crucial if the church is to penetrate the culture.