Relevant, the new bandwagon!
Relevant, what seems to be the issue? I recently read an article that trashed any church trying to be relevant. Then I saw another article heading that suggested there might be a problem with the quest to be relevant. Relevant seems to be the topic of the week. Apparently in the attempts to be relevant churches are becoming anemic and watered down. Listening to the people that jump on the bandwagon it seems to relate a lot to worship styles and cultural expression of a given church. I have also seen it apply to people who didn’t agree with the theology of the person making the accusation.
So, if I follow the articles being reposted on Facebook, people are leaving the church in droves, sick of praise and worship music, reconnecting with their roots (?) and finding God in the woods, on the golf course, and the beach. Oh, and I don’t need a church to be a Christian. Never mind that Jesus is the one that said he was going to build the church. I know he didn’t mean the building, but he did mean the community with all of it’s filth and glory. The Bible does call the church (the people) the BODY of Christ. The Bible does go on to say that we can’t say we don’t need each other, or because I am not the important part I’m not part of the body. (feel free to paraphrase this your way from 1 Corinthians 12) So anyway, back to being relevant. Let me begin by posting the definition of Relevant; sometimes it helps to see the definition.
- bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; pertinent:
JESUS was RELEVANT
So as a pastor, there is nothing I am more interested in than making the Gospel relevant to people’s lives. I want to show them exactly how relevant it is to, and on the on-going circumstances around the world and in the news.
I don’t understand why I wouldn’t want to be relevant? Jesus was on a hillside with 5,000 men besides women and children following him and listening to him. They were hungry, hungry to the point of starving apparently. In order to be relevant he would need to feed them. Reading this articles that are flowering on social media, I guess Jesus should have said,
“Have every one sit down in groups and let’s break out some theology because these people are about to die and we want to make sure their theology is right.”
“Peter, these people have come a long way, make sure we don’t use anything that would make the message make sense to them, just give them the Torah! No metaphors!!!”
“Nobody leaves until everyone has had all the classes and there will be NO illustrations, just the Bible!!
Jesus was relevant enough to heal people when they needed healing, to raise the dead when it was necessary, to stop and bless children when it was relevant to do so. I’m not sure what people think relevant is about if not doing the things Jesus did.
BANG A GONG!
I understand the call, the sounding of the alarm, the claxon to get everyone’s attention as far as taking them deeper, but seriously, Jesus’ teaching don’t strike me as deep, until you walk away and keep thinking about them. I believe he kept it simple and pure. Anyone could make sense of it. As far as exegesis goes, I don’t see him getting an above average grade. He used stories, and metaphors like crazy. Can’t you just hear the Pharisees complaining about how shallow and trite his dissertation on faith the size of a mustard seed Jesus did Not have a serious theological conversation with the woman caught in adultery. Nor did he with the woman at the well. He had a spiritual, Word of God, kind of conversation with. Then look at all the times he was quick to forgive someone’s sins and heal them rather than teach on healing.
Jesus was relevant there is no way around it.
When I see people writing and tearing down, relevant churches, it reminds me of all the times people would say a church was being too entertaining. I know what they are trying to get at, but then again, there are too many people out there that can’t communicate. They have information, surely, but they cannot hold someone’s attention long enough to get that information into their hearts. It is an absolute shame that in our world today a public speaker is boring, monotonous, or droning, whether it is the church or a school classroom, and don’t get me started with the local university. (with all due respect, fire the slugs that can’t teach)
I understand what the authors are trying to say, and I’m not sure I disagree, but the word “relevant” isn’t the right word. Jesus is relevant.
What if we allowed our relevancy to take us places to do things for people? Instead of allowing our relevancy to take us to the web to throw rocks at people, what about we allow it to take us to the projects, the malls, the Walmart, to school and maybe, just maybe, we will be relevant enough to pray for people. Or we could bring healing in Jesus name on people, or help restore people. We can be relevant and bring the Kingdom to bear, we really can. I think for the most part they are talking about being ingrown and self focused, but, that is different than Relevant.
Go be relevant ……… like Jesus.