The Root of Relevance

Is the Church relevant? How many books have been written on this subject in our generation? What is the three-step plan on how to make our ministry of twentysomethings grow and attract the latest tech-savvy who just bought the last product?

What we are really asking is, What can we give to this consumer-driven generation that will keep our Christian consumers happy and spice up our product for those who are yet-to-be-consumers? Would we even ask that out loud?

In fact, I am convinced that this is not our hearts at all.

I am not here to point fingers and judge when I have guilty written on my forehead. We all really want to reach people. Each of us has a desire to make a difference–a long lasting difference. I am just thinking maybe we’ve been going about this the wrong way.

Either the Gospel works or it does not. Either the Truth is the Truth or it isn’t. I believe that it is and yet I see places in my life where the Gospel has not infiltrated me. I am a human who is capable of explicit wickedness when left to my own devices. I cannot change myself, let alone the world.

Honestly, I am more than a little tired of trying to change myself, my shortcomings, and of trying to build a relevant ministry.

I want to live like Jesus lived. So how did He live? He only did what He saw the Father doing. He did the Father’s will. Not because it was popular. In fact, He didn’t seem to focus on relevance at all. I don’t think He watched His local TV stations to see what young people were doing these days. I’m not saying I am against using new ideas or techniques. In fact, if we have things available we should be using them to glorify God and His will. My question is this: Where is the innovation in the Church and in the Christian world coming from? The world, God, or us?

Jesus’ message is timeless; it has lasted for 2,000 years. He didn’t try to be relevant. He used stories everyone could relate to, but He wasn’t married to a method. He followed the Holy Spirit.

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How much more relevant would the church be if we capitalized on hearing the Holy Spirit and doing the will of God rather than coming up with more programs, reading more books, and listening to more sermons? All of the above listed are good, but I am convinced the power of God is hidden in His presence and in the Holy Spirit and when my focus becomes relevance and how-tos, I have seriously erred.

When the Church has the Presence of God, we’ll be relevant. When the Church goes from striving in our own works to resting and abiding in the Vine then we will be relevant.

Everyone is looking for satisfaction. When we become so in love with God and understand that God is totally in love with us, then we will be satisfied. The world will stop seeing a bunch of irrelevant Christians who are just as unhappy, but have more rules to follow. When we have the fruit of the Spirit, are doing God’s will, are not trusting in our own works—then we will have something to offer. Otherwise, we are gathering knowledge and never learning. We are never able to come to the knowledge of the real Truth. The real Truth is having a relationship with the living God and not following the man-made beaten path that directs us where to go, when to go.

Let us simply follow the Holy Spirit.

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