Relevance

Relevant: Having a bearing on or connection with the matter at hand
Jeff's take on that definition: To be relevant, you must matter, make a difference, influence, impact, be a part of either sustaining or improving things.

I have been talking a lot about how to make the church relevant in today's culture. I clearly think that God does matter and that the church is and can be a powerful tool in impacting peoples' lives. The church accomplishes its ordained purpose through people. By creating a community, we are empowered to worship, to encourage one another, to grow, to question and to learn. This is like a drug...what was a powerful tool for assisting in pain management, or recovery, can quickly be abused and become the problem itself if the user isn't careful.

A lot of churchgoers are addicted to church, and have lost sight of their purpose. Ask them why they go to church, and how God helps them to impact their world around them... Most will stutter, then come back with a rote answer about being saved from hell, and that God is everything to them. Both answers are correct, but they are abstract in their essence. If people can answer with details about the relevance of God in their lives, other people around them will listen the Holy Spirit will work powerfully through them.

The church enables members, and believers to bear witness to God's impact/relevance in their lives. It assists in the strengthening and renewal of God's people, but it must not become the end goal. The church must be a base from which we operate to accomplish our mission/purpose in the world.

We must bear witness wherever we are, we must honestly accept who we are and by definition then, who we are not. Relevance is a tricky thing to qualify.

God is relevant to our culture, whether most people know it or not. I think my job is to help people around me understand that relevance both through my own ability to sing and make music, and through my ability to lead others and teach them to bear witness.

We have lost track of a sense of community in our world. We do few things together. The church has an opportunity here. We can bear witness through building community. I/we need to get better at telling people how great it is to be a "part of the Kingdom", not judging them for their free choice to pursue spirituality through other channels. Maybe those recreation centers churches are building have more power than I previously thought. The trick may be to find a way to open them up as a gathering point for everyone...

Use the BASE to reach out and bear witness wherever we are, simply doing our job which is to explain how God is relevant in our lives.

Comments

Anonymous said…
One reason that, I think, the church has been labeled irrelevant is because "we" the church, have allowed the world to define and describe us. For whatever reason, "we" the church, have elected not to define ourselves.
Jesus never allowed the "world" to descibe Him. He was who He was, and he told the generations past and those to come who He was and what His task was.
I think you are right about many churchgoers. They have a "habit." Interestingly, doesn't the name "churchgoer" just about descibe the depth of their actions.
Many churches talk the talk about reaching out but the truth is( and we know this first hand)they really only want to reach out to those who look exactly like themselves and they don't want to change the style of their "habit."
Talk about thinking outside of the box...we need to be serious about thinking outside the walls of the building. We need to take God's love to them. We need to be willing to plant the seed even if we never see the end result.
The basketball program has brought many into churches. I can't remember the name of it. "Upward" maybe?? HRBC does it and it is an outreach.
What can we do as individuals and as a group? ...As the song says..."show His love."
We worship when we hold out a helping hand to someone who is hurting, grieving, sick...in any kind of need.
Do we really ever let "others see Jesus in you"????
Random acts of kindness grow into today's miracles. CF

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