David J. Brett leading civic prayer

The Space Between Postmodern Culture and The Church Today.

One of the prevailing trends in culture today is an ever growing schism between the church and culture. Increasingly people are not going to church or if they are going to church they participate in the intimate anonymity of going to church on sunday mornings but not necessarily engaging in other parts of the life of the church.

There are a variety of factors that keep people from fully embracing churches first people have often been hurt or burned by other churches and they have valid concerns that they could be hurt at their new church as well so they are skeptical. Unfortunately, churches have in many ways earned the skepticism of those who have been hurt by churches and those who are religious unaffiliated.

Responding to Postmodern Culture

Postmodernism is a term and concept that often gets bandied about in contemporary discourse without much critical reflection. Colloquially the term references a vague sense of skepticism towards institutions, authority, a suspicion of meta-narratives and a desire for authenticity, community, and "real" relationships. Historically speaking postmodernism is most clearly seen in art and architecture. In art postmodernism refers to the style of art that comes after French Impressionism and modernism. There are several postmodern styles of art notable examples are Jackson Pollock's Abstract Expressionism, Andy Warhol's Pop Art, and Nancy Graves sculpture Camels, among many other influential artists.

Postmodern art cannot be typified as one style as it serves as an umbrella category including but not limited to Minimalism, New Classicism, Conceptual art, installation art, performance art, multi-media, Neo-expressionism, & institutional critique. Each of these movements had a significant impact on the arts as well as culture. It is also important to note that when people discuss postmodernism in a rooted sense they are often thinking not only of art but also of architecture.

The transition from postmodern art and architecture to a postmodern culture occurs through the cyclical social systems where by aesthetics, art, and built spaces influence and shape social systems. When speaking of a postmodern culture it is important to acknowledge that the strongest representations of postmodernism are stylistic, impressionistic, and focused on a emotion/mood. Postmodern stylistic sensibilities focus on a carefully crafted and curated casual style. Postmodern style focuses on sharp lines, ultra minimalism, and a style that looks both natural but is in reality quite planned. Notable websites that have a postmodern brutalist and minimalist aesthetic would be Craigslist, Bloomberg Review, and many others. The Washington Post had an excellent article on the rise of brutalist design online.

Generally speaking the postmodern mood that has permeated culture is one of a suspicion and distrust of the authority and institutions because of the historic levels of abuses and exploitations by corporations, churches, non-profits, and other institutions and leaders who have treated people as disposable. This suspicion of authority and instituions can often be understood as cynical or apathetic and while that may certainly be the case in some instances it is generalization that fails to acknowledge the material conditions that lead to a deep suspicion of institutions. In an era of "FAKE NEWS!!!" is it a surprise that so many people are skeptical of institutions, authority, and claims to absolute totalizing TRUTH. Postmodern culture while suspicious of meta-narratives and truthclaims does have a deep investment in doing justice for those marginalized and forgotten by mainstream culture. This investment in social justice and the demand of equal treatment of all people and institutions is something valuable about the movement. Returning to living simply, in relationship and in community with other people is something that is vital to the human experience of life together and one area where the church can learn from postmodernism.

What is the Churches response to postmodern culture?

There is not just one response that the church or Christians should have to postmodern culture. Instead it is about listening and hearing into speech those who have are not going to church and those who are suspicious of the churches motives. Listening and laying the groundwork for an open dialogue between the culture and the church is the first step to creating a healthy dialogue where the church can listen and respond to criticism, repent and apologize, and then learn to welcome people to come to church and learn about the holistic healing offered by Jesus Christ. It is important that we show culture that the church is never just one thing and that oen of the main reasons to go to church is to be in a diverse community of believers who are willing to walk with you on your lives journey and to help encourage one to embrace and follow their calling and to live into the fullness of what it means to be a Christian. Part of closing the gap between the culture and the church is finding ways to meet people where they are and listen to each other with vulnerability and sincerity and work to find meaning and wholeness in a way that glorifies Christ.

If you are interested in learning more about ways the church can respond to and learn from postmodernism consider contacting David J. Brett. He is available to speaking, teaching, and leading workshops, as well as pastoral care and counseling.

Abbreviated Resume/CV for David Brett

2017

David J. Brett

To be part of a ministry setting that is transformative, relevant, relational, and effective in reaching others with the grace of Christ. To be connected to a church that knows what it means to trade brokenness for wholeness, hurt for healing, and grief for grace. I want to serve with a team of people who are committed to excellence in their love for Christ and their journey of faith. I want to further the kingdom of God through outreach intentionally designed to reach a diverse population. The one passion that drives me in ministry is to the opportunity to help people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. The goals that define my ministry and shape my theology include: leading people to Christ, teaching with spiritual growth in mind, developing gifts in ministry, and empowering people to move forward on the journey of faith.

2012-Present
Purpose Pastor. Village View Community Church, Summerfield, Florida.

Village View Community Church

I am responsible for seeing the integration and retention of visitors and members to the church. Presently the church attracts over 2,000 people. I enjoy speaking in a wide variety of settings including but not limited to Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings, and in small groups. I provide leadership for all pastoral care ministers as well as implementing strategies for growth, administration, and operations of those ministries. One of the ways that I accomplish these goals is though developing and implementing an infrastructure Pastoral care ministries to ensure meaningful hospital visitation and follow-up spiritual guidance. Additionally I connect parish nurses with patients who need in home assistance and continued care. Additional pastoral care and counseling duties include the opportunity to implement teams and provide leadership for the Alpha Marriage Course, oversee the food pantry and Clothing Connection, as well as other distribution of resources like the Benevolence Outreach to those in need. I relish the moments where I am able to provide pastoral care and counseling via appointment and through the ad-hoc encounters of seeing parishioners out in the community. Thanks to the churches location and facilities, I frequently officiate weddings and funerals. Finally I facilitate ministry for grieving families and provide one-on-one spiritual guidance as well as working closely with Celebrate Recovery and providing support for the Prison Ministry and other outreach opportunities.

2003-2012
Senior Pastor. Christ Community Church, Beaumont, Texas.

Christ Community Church, Beaumont, Texas. Image copyright Clem T. Webb

At Christ Community Church I was responsible for providing leadership, support and direction to all areas of the church, which I accomplished through a strong commitment to maintain vision, mission and purpose of church. I was responsible for the teaching, care, and development of the church. In the performance of my pastoral duties I planned and spoke at all worship services for Sunday and Wednesday, lead Bible studies, visit, provide follow-up with pastoral care and counseling. I managed and directed a staff that was comprised of both paid and volunteer members and helped them establish and achieve organizational goals. I cultivated the formation of over a dozen 12-step groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous, which meet weekly. Through my leadership the church had a serious commitment to ministry excellence which was exhibited in the churches dynamic services, ministry, music, special events, dramas, and weekly teachings. Christ Community Church developed strong local community partnerships though civic center events, food to the hungry, local festivals, and partnership with a local children's ministry which served underprivileged communities.

2007-2012
Chaplain. Compassion Hospice, Beaumont, Texas.

Compassion Hospice, Beaumont, Texas. Image copyright ©bellafotografica.com

1998-2002
Adjunct Instructor. Warner University, Lake Wales, Florida.

Warner University, Lake Wales, Florida

Skills

David J. Brett in a blue shirt

I am passionate about sharing life with others on the spiritual journey of faith. It is my desire to help people emerge into ministry, pursue their spiritual gifts, and experience spiritual transformation. I specialize in spiritually mentoring people and critically engaging the issues facing the church as it responds to the current postmodern social/cultural milieu. I have strong gifts in pastoral theology, pastoral care and counseling with special attention to spiritual direction.

 

Education

Lee University Seal


  I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Education with minor in New Testament Greek. After graduation I continued my studies at the Church of God School of Theology at Lee University where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Divinity (M.Div). During my M.Div studies I won both the academic excellence and leadership awards. My senior theological paper/thesis was Tough Faith: My Search of Honest Durable Christianity.

 

 

 

FULL CV/RESUME