I was reading this post from Jeremy’s blog which referenced Rick’s entry on an article from Christianity Today (did you get all that?) But it was about relevance of the Church in today’s culture. Maybe we’re trying so hard to point out to our culture that Church is relevant that we’re actually saying that it’s not relevant.
To be honest I think that in a lot of ways, church today is not relevant. Don’t get me wrong. I think Jesus and His Gospel is timeless and more than relevant (or should be). But maybe we as a Western Culture have watered it down over the years to be more easy to stomach. But in large part, the local church has ceased to be relevant to the local members of the community.
Anyway, here’s the long and short of my comment I left on Jeremy’s entry:
Maybe I’m the odd man out here, but I do think that there is a time to intentionally push to be relevant.
Not that you alter or change the Timeless Truth of the Gospel, but that you shift the container of the Truth. Think of the Gospel (the Good News about who Jesus Christ is and what He’s done for us) as water. You can pour water in many different types of containers, but it’s still water. Therefore, I think you can have the pure Gospel presented to people in different containers and not lose the purity of it.
I work with teenagers in our church, both Sr High and Jr High. The means and methods that we try to communicate the Gospel to our teens (the container we present the Timeless Truths in) is obviously going to be different than the means/methods we’d present it to the senior citizens Sunday School class or the pre-school or elementary Sunday School classes. You try to make it relevant to them (just as you would as a missionary taking the Timeless Truths of the Gospel to different cultures.)
I believe by the same token that even in the 20-50 age group (big group, I know) there are different subcultures that you can target.
Jesus and His Gospel are always relevant. Hands down. No argument. But it’s the vehicle that sometimes needs sprucing up. You know, He’s always looking to do a new thing!