Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Relevance - A Very Big Word

There's a lot of talk today among Christians about relevance.  Relevance in this sense is the degree at which the church relates (or is relative) to our current culture.  To be relevant means the ability to "connect" with people where they are.  Relevance is very important to any type of ministry.  Relevance is important in business as well.  If you have a product to sell it first must be something people need.  Then you must market it in such a way that people see their need for it.  If you market multi-vitamins as "Dr. Stanford's Miracle Elixir" from a horse-drawn carriage (in the streets of New York City), you may not be successful.  That particular method of marketing and sales went out about 100 years ago.

Relevance is a very big word.  It's by far not the longest word in the English vocabulary.  But it is big in the sense that everyone is talking about it today.  At least a large portion of the church is.  Answer this question:  Who can relate better than anyone on the planet?  The answer is Jesus.  By His Holy Spirit He can "connect" with any person right where they are and in whatever condition they are in.  He is the ultimate marketing agent!   Think about this.  The Holy Spirit lives outside the confines of time.  As the agent of Jesus the Creator, He owns time!  No matter what the culture, the decade, century our millennium...He is relevant. 

The Key To Relevance

The key to the relevance of the church is the Holy Spirit.  There are a couple of keys to the key:
  • The Holy Spirit must be heard.
  • The Holy Spirit must be obeyed.
The only way the Holy Spirit can be heard is...we must be listening.  This means we must be pursuing Jesus through Him.  Genuine corporate prayer is a major key to a church hearing the Holy Spirit.  The next step is that the church must do whatever the Holy Spirit speaks.  The church must obey Him! 

Relevance is a very big word.  Relevance is very important.  However we need the kind of relevance that only the Holy Spirit can produce.  His methods are relevant for any time.  We need to love Jesus enough to hear the Spirit's voice.  We need to love Jesus enough to obey His voice.  I firmly believe what the world will notice is a church that connects.  That's what got me!  I had major problems.  I didn't know I had them until my world fell apart.  Some church folks had already started connecting with me before it all happened.  I kind of took it with a grain of salt while at the same time I knew they had something I needed.  When all collapsed they were the first one's I went looking for!  That's when I learned the meaning of relevance - a very, very big word.

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