All would most likely agree that the world we live in is broken. Take one look at the news and you are bound to be struck with the pain, suffering, and sadness that ravages the planet in instances of natural disasters, hunger, poverty, sexual abuse, and the like. How do we as humans even begin to make sense of this madness? We do so with our worldview. Our worldview defines how we perceive and interpret truth, reality, and morality. These beliefs then drive the way we think, speak, and act.
Each one of us, whether we realize it or not, has a worldview. Our worldview is everything we believe to be true and real and directly affect every step we take. Our worldviews influence every single aspect of our lives.
Recently we have been learning from Brett Kunkle, Founder of Maven Ministries. We’ve discussed the truth that it is so important to understand both our own worldview and the worldviews of others because they affect how we, as individuals, live and interact with every inch of our environment.
During our time with Brett Kunkle, we were able to delve deeper into the intricate definition of worldview. We’ve explored prevalent worldviews in culture today, learned how to engage with those who have worldviews different than a Biblical one, and then engaged firsthand with some who share differing views of what is true. We learned several conversational tactics to use when discussing with and questioning those with different worldviews than us.
This past week has left an imprint on several Fellows and has encouraged and motivated them to utilize what we learned in class. One student, Madi Foster, expressed how she came to realize that in order to love people well, it’s important to understand them. She said, “I think that in order to build relationships with people, I am going to need to know more about what they believe, and I’d really like to grow in that.” She also expressed how this has even pushed her to new levels of knowledge, saying, “It’s also encouraged me to learn more about Christianity. Sometimes I feel like I need a motivation to dig deeper into the roots of my own beliefs, and this week gave me that motivation.”
When asked how this past week’s learning affected the way she wishes to interact with those around her, Foster replied, “I think it has encouraged me to be bolder in how I ask questions. A lot of times culture tells us that asking questions that dig deeper or push back on what they believe is offensive, but it’s not.” Asking questions allows us to be people of deeper thought and intellect and allows us to flourish.
We had the opportunity this week to engage with people who held worldviews other than our own. Student Micah Hudson expressed how enriching he found this experience, saying, “Well I haven’t had the pleasure of actually talking with people of many other worldviews before. Being able to have dialogue and enjoy that with them was incredibly enlightening, just because I haven’t had as many chances of talking with people of other faiths.”
Sharing our own faith with others can be scary and daunting at times, but Hudson says this experience gave him the tools and boldness to move forward. He said, “having my first real experience here in such a setting where I was comfortable, where I didn’t feel like I would be out of place or attacked in any way, was incredibly helpful and gave a large amount of confidence because I know in the future that I’ll be able to ask questions and I won’t feel bad if I don’t know the answer. It’s just a continual learning experience from there. I 100% plan to use the tactics in the future.”
It is safe to say we have had an extremely enriching week of learning and engaging, but it shouldn’t stop there. It is our mission as Christians to not only share our worldview with the world around us, but also to learn as much as we can about the worldviews of our neighbors. This is the only way we will be able to effectively and tactfully influence others for Christ. We must be able to apply the lessons we’ve learned to the rest of our lives. Thanks to this past week, we are well on our way to fulfilling that goal, many students have already begun to find ways to continue to learn about the worldviews and the people around them. May we ever be ready to give a reason for the hope within us, as 1 Peter 3:15 tells us, but always with gentleness and respect.