Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

Relevant

Aaaah, the new buzz word for effective ministry is relevant. Ministry focus today is on relevance. I agree we need to be in touch with people and where they are at. I also agree we need to effectively minister to and meet the needs of people where they are at.

There is no problem with a church being relevant. God is relevant to peoples’ lives.

The problem is when relevance becomes a marketing tool rather than a ministry approach. When EVERY ministry uses the same music, wears the same casual tees, and speaks the same speak … is that actually relevant?  Seniors do not have the same relevant needs as Generation Xer’s. Middle of the Roaders are not at the same place as twenty somethings.

Then there’s the whole culture aspect. Being from the North I can tell you churches up there are different than churches in the South.

When you say your philosophy is to be relevant … I must ask in reference to what? Relevant to a biker is different than relevant to a yuppie or a metro.

NICHE Churches specialize in reaching one particular demographic. Example: a biker church or a surfer chapel or a NASCAR chapel.

RELEVANT Churches often times pick one particular style they feel is culturally current and then develop ministry around it. BUT is that really relevant? A hip hop style of relevance is probably not going to be effective in the hills of Kentucky. Blue grass is not the music of choice in a northeast surban church.

Sooo, are relevant churches really relevant or are they Niche churches?

Again, I have no problem with keeping the music, the message, and the methods fresh, up to date, and alive. I just think we need to rethink relevance in different terms. What is relevant to you may be totally irrelevant to me and vice versa.

KEEP THE BIBLE RELEVANT… continue to keep clear, accurate Bible teaching and preaching the central focal point of ministry.  It is the WORD that changes lives.

KEEP THE MESSAGE RELEVANT… yes, the Word of God needs to be presented in an authentic manner that presents the God of Truth as having the answers to peoples’ problems and issues. You can tie culture and trends into the message with the Word as the anchor.

KEEP THE METHODS RELEVANT… styles come and go. Fads fade out as quickly as they explode into popularity. For proof of that… how is old is your cell phone. Don’t aswer … it’s already out of date. So while it is good idea to have an understanding of your times and use the technology and methods available … remember, ministries that base relevance on this point will quickly become irrelevant if they don’t keep changing UNLESS they anchored in the power of the Word which never goes out of style.

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