Monday, June 13, 2011

The Pressure to Be Relevant

"The pressure to be relevant is everywhere.  One of the last things anyone in church leadership wants to be charged with is being out of touch.  Yet isn't this just how the church is typically seen?  So what do we attempt to do?  Make sure that our services are relevant.  The criteria for appropriate relevance include things like a contemporary service, a great sound system, projection screens for songs and images, video clips.  We try to look, sound and feel like we are relevant, just like the broader culture.  It's about technology.  It's about speed.  It's about volume.  It's about now.  Even the retro efforts of emergent worship take this to an extreme by making the worship experience about the relevant moment.

It's necessary, of course, to remember that the Christian faith is based on the central affirmation that God has come to humanity through Jesus Christ.  The incarnation demonstrates personally and tangibly that God's love and his kingdom are the most relevant things in the universe.  Incarnational ministry is the cornerstone of how the church is to carry out its life.  This means that we seek to be relevant to those around us and to communicate this message clearly."

Mark Labberton, The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God's Call to Justice (Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2007), 49. 

Soli Deo Gloria

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