Understanding The Seven Mountains Of Cultural Influence
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
In part one of Understanding the Seven Mountains of Cultural Influence, we looked at the origin and importance of the Seven Mountains framework for helping us create strategies for building the Kingdom. In this article, we will take a brief look at each of the Seven Mountains, reflecting on current concerns, as well as ways we can begin to realign these important spheres of influence to God’s original intent.
An Important Note:
It’s important to understand that the Seven Mountain teaching is a framework, not a doctrine. It is simply a way of organizing our approach toward making kingdom impact. There are some who don’t like the term mountain, so we see words like spheres, structures, facets, etc. Others, like myself, believe that there are more than seven areas of cultural influence. However, at the time of this writing, Seven Mountains is the preferred and understood terminology, so I will use it for the purposes of this article and the 47M Project.
The family is the primary building block of God’s kingdom and as such, has experienced dramatic cultural shifts away from His original intent. Family roles have been redefined, resulting in a generation defined by fear and identity confusion. Family is our first and most important place of influence. Kingdom-minded families will restore the biblical structure of family, healing broken hearts, creating security and strengthening the identity of the next generation.
We must build a foundation for family wholeness through forgiveness, healing and hope. Kingdom leaders with creative solutions are needed to address the social and cultural issues that have led to the breakdown of families. Counselors, non-profit organizations, churches, and most importantly, families themselves, will play a huge role in reestablishing God’s ideal for the family.
The Mountain of Religion not only includes the Christian church, but every other form of organized religion. It also represents the deeper cultural influence of the spirit of religion, which seeks to redefine God and our relationship with Him. To impact the mountain of religion, we must begin with the church, uprooting compromise, letting go of religious structures and seeking the move of Holy Spirit through our lives.
The Church has been labeled as harsh, unloving and out of touch. In an attempt to align the church with false cultural constructs, some religious leaders have moved away from biblical truth to make room for ungodly social norms. We need Kingdom leaders who reflect God’s love and interest in the world, without giving in to compromise. When the church is alive, the weakness of religion is exposed and His Kingdom principles begin to shine.
The sphere of Business includes economic systems, the stock market, corporations, small businesses, banking, technology, medicine, farming, innovation and much more. God has given us the ability to create wealth through innovation, creativity and hard work. Where there is wealth, there is influence, and also the potential for greed and corruption. Godly leaders who partner with the Lord, rather than leaning on their own strength will demonstrate a better way of doing business as they walk in the favor of the Lord.
Kingdom leadership in business includes running successful businesses that add value to a community, promoting righteous business practices, taking spiritual authority in industry and communities through ownership, and developing and funding innovative discoveries that lift up society.
Along with Arts & Entertainment, Education is one of the greatest tools for shaping the cultural worldview of the next generation. Liberal and humanistic teaching has become the foundation of our education system, creating a culture of lack and fear. We see this on high school and college campuses, where students seek out safe spaces when confronted by any ideology that challenges their beliefs. We need a grassroots movement of kingdom-minded educators, from early education through college, to dismantle humanistic structures, overturn secular agendas and liberate students to become all that Christ has called them to be.
We also need people who will take leadership roles in school boards, shaping curriculum and policy. Attention must also be given to the disparity in educational opportunity in at-risk communities. The transformation of education will take place through home school initiatives, new kingdom-focused schools and colleges, private education, community investment and reformation of our public schools.
The sphere of media includes local and national televised news, print media, and social media outlets. Too often, today, the media presents a narrative of hopelessness and divisiveness. News agencies have moved away from presenting facts to presenting agendas – often very far from kingdom values. Media/political alliances are also concerning. This has created an overall sense of distrust of media in society.
Innovators in media will leverage technology to create new media outlets known to be trustworthy through unbiased reporting. Godly journalists will gain the trust of the public by rejecting partisanship and returning to the principles of journalistic integrity. Kingdom leadership in media won’t be about promoting religious principles. It will be about speaking unbiased truth, uncovering corruption, and sharing hope for the future, shining a light on God’s plan for the world around us.
The sphere of government represents legislative, judicial and executive offices at the local, state and federal levels. It also represents government agencies, the military, law enforcement and bureaucratic structures. It also includes political and economic structures that form the basis of how a people are governed. Government has become increasingly polarized, leading to animosity, corruption and gridlock. Socialism has been redefined and haled as an answer to injustice. Corrupt bureaucracy, like religion, steals the life out of a nation.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice; when the wicked rule the people groan.” Kingdom leaders who refuse to bow to corruption and political gamesmanship are needed at every level and agency of government. We need leaders who understand how to tap into heaven’s storehouse for creative solutions. We need men and women who carry the favor of the Lord to release that favor into the areas they are called to govern. God’s light of holiness must be shined on every aspect of government until corruption is exposed. Political ideologies that hold people in captivity to fear must be uprooted, so that God’s plan for abundance and prosperity can be established.
Arts & Entertainment:
Arts & Entertainment includes movies, TV, music, sports, literature and the performing arts. This sphere has incredible influence, especially among the younger generation. The enemy has used the sphere to redefine creativity and desensitize society to a variety of moral issues, including sexual sin, greed, violence, gender confusion and much more. Yet there is great potential for kingdom impact, as cultural leaders experience the love of Christ and embrace their roles as kingdom-cultural influencers.
Talent and creativity are reflections of our Creator. He has a place in every aspect of Arts & Entertainment. We need not be religious to impact this mountain. Kingdom leaders ought to be the most creative people on the planet, giving glory to God through artistic and athletic accomplishments that reflect the excellence of the Kingdom.
God’s ways are designed to create prosperity, health, innovation and creative celebration that reflects His glory. We, the Ekklesia, are called to partner with Him, tearing down demonic structures, shining a light on truth and establishing His best wherever we live and work. That means understanding and acting on His plan for whatever mountain of influence we are called to take leadership in. When the kingdom of God is established, the whole world will be blessed.