Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ and Loren Cunningham of YWAM met in 1975 to discuss a word the Lord gave independently to each of them. They shared that the Lord said there were seven areas/spheres of cultural influence the Church needed to recognize and engage if her witness was to move outside the sanctuary to have a global Great Commission impact.
That revelation would never get traction if the Church was not willing to take the voice of truth to those areas and create a flourishing influence on culture. If the Church remained silent and uninvolved, other forces would influence and form the ethic of nations.
Of late, those seven areas/spheres have been described as the 7 Mountains – Government, Religion, Education, Economy, Arts & Entertainment, Media and Family. I would like to suggest the need to add an 8th Mountain to that list that would be a combination of two social influencers not present forty-six years ago when Bright and Cunningham met. The eighth mountain would be a mountain that combines Information Technology (IT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
IT has been the source of our Internet access and social media platforms. It is how we are increasingly conducting business, do online meetings, communicate with each other, and explore life’s online options. AI will become the functional fruit of IT allowing robotics and the remote functionality of machinery to conduct tasks that only a decade ago would be the stuff of science fiction.
Why is this important to the Church? It is important because this is where the cultures of the world are moving with increased frequency. It is a world without a physical campus or operating hours. It is open and functional 24/7 on a global scale. The interaction between IT and AI will become the norm of life in future generations. It will be where more and more interaction between humans and developing technologies will take place. It will be a mountain where our talent interacting with technology will become a vehicle of our testimony.
Adding an 8th Mountain to the existing seven mountain definition will allow us to think, rethink and process how we position ourselves as believers on the frontier of a developing future. This will be yet another place where we will be able to speak the truth in love in ways not imagined at the beginning of our lifetime.
The future is unfolding before our eyes like a fresh linen tablecloth being unfurled above a table and floating down upon the tabletop where the cultures of the world will be served a meal of revelation by a well-trained, savvy, and passionate staff empowered by the creativity of the Spirit.