George Sarris – Iron Sharpens Iron 2007

(This is from a series of posts on the Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference in Hartford, CT on March 24, 2007. To view the whole series, click here.)

Here is a brief summary of George Sarris’ morning seminar called “Impacting the Culture – Changing the World.”

George shared one of the best presentations I have heard on wisely interacting with non-believers within the culture in order to make a difference for Christ. He shared from Proverbs 21:22 how God wants believers to impact the culture with the truth of God’s Word rather than retreat in a defensive posture.

He spoke about how Christians need to be willing to dialogue with non-Christians. In order to make an impact, we need to stay one step ahead of the culture. What is the difference between a leader and a target? A leader is one step ahead of people, while a target is two steps ahead (or more). We can’t change the culture all at once, and so we need to help people take steps along the way.

George shared about some of the tools he has developed to help non-believers take some of those steps in the right direction. One of these is a set of Bible story CD’s called The World’s Greatest Stories that he gives out to people with young children. Another tool is the Ecclesiastes by Solomon book which he gives to business men and other people climbing the ladder to success.

George posed the question, “Why have Christians not been more effective in impacting the culture in recent decades?” The church has grown, and yet it seems Christian influence on the culture has not.

George traced much of this back historically to the Modernist/Fundamentalist split that occurred back in the 1920’s. At that time the church by distancing itself from modernism and the social gospel also withdrew from the culture. Later in the 1950’s the evangelical church failed to be a significant voice in the Civil Rights Movement, and again in the 1970’s the church missed an opportunity to make a difference concerning abortion. By not engaging cultural issues, the church lost its credibility and its voice in society.

As Christians we are called to love God and neighbor. We should not sacrifice the vertical relationship for the horizontal, nor the horizontal for the vertical. The two go together. George went on to share some personal stories of how he has worked to change the culture and gave some practical suggestions on things we can do in our interactions with others.

On a personal note, I first met George thirty years ago when I was in high school. Some high school friends and I participated in a drama presentation geared towards sharing the gospel with non-believers. George was in attendance and afterwards came up and encouraged each of us personally. I can still remember his specific words of encouragement to me. It just goes to show how important words of encouragement are in our lives. It was a pleasure seeing George again after all these years. I encourage you to visit his website, Engage the Culture, check out his projects, and hear him speak if you get the opportunity.


  1. Ray,

    Thank you for the very encouraging comments about my talk at Iron Sharpens Iron. It’s always great to know that someone is listening! You were very gracioius in your comments. God bless.


  2. Rachael says:

    Ooh, George Sarris! His stories are favorites around our house… they are absolutely amazing and word for word from the scriptures.

    Neat guy!

  3. Ray Fowler says:


    Thanks for stopping by. I just ordered all five of your Bible story CD’s. I look forward to sharing them with my children.

  4. Ray Fowler says:


    Thanks for the high recommendation of George’s CDs – now I am even more looking forward!

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