Saturday, April 29, 2006

My mind is strained today as I question my life and it's relevance. The motto of our church is that we are a church that is Real-Authentic, Relevant-, and Refreshing. Real and Refreshing are easy for me, it means that we are authentic and that when you leave you feel better, encouraged, and blessed. But this thing about being relevant is bothering me...Am I? And if I am what is it that makes me relevant? If I'm not, how do I become relevant? Does relevance mean that I am acceptable to society and the culture that I'm apart of, that I fit in and relate to the time and place that I now live in? How do I become relevant and not compromise my foundational beliefs. After all, cultures and climates change constantly, but our foundations must be built upon not constantly rebuilt...don't they? Perhaps my struggle is in the ministry the Lord has given me, am I relevant as a minister or have I become so stuck where I'm at that it has become the norm for me and I want it to be the norm for everyone else? I've been checking out church web sites and it appears that some churches, the ones that appear successful have moved into a certain mode, podcasts, casual dress, dark lights during worship and a non-confrontational type I'm asking myself have I become irrelevant? Don't misunderstand, I'm not against any of these things and really like most of it, especially the casual dress thing...I just want to be relevant, to minister to people where they are and help them get where they're supposed to really answer questions that people are asking...and remain faithful and true to the call and commission of Christ. Do I relate to people in a real manner is my question about my self today! There is a scripture in the Psalms that comes to mind, "My Thoughts Trouble Me..." Ever been there?


ruthrap said...

don't worry, Neil--you are very relevant and I think you relate very well to people--you did to us anyway--so quit worrying!

Darrell said...

Are you relevant?
Dude, all I want to know is what's up with that dog!?!

Neil said...

The dog is what came up when I posed the question to Google Images! I kind of like him...wouldn't want one like him...but like this one!

Darrell said...

He is pretty cool. He's one of those dogs that are so ugly that they are cute. Kinda looks like "alien-dog".

Darrell said...

Anyone else notice that these Word Verifications are getting more and more complicated? I just had one with 11 letters and the one I have now is 8 but I can hardly read the stupid thing!

michigan preacher said...

Hey, Neil, here is how the Dictionary defines "relevant":
Having a bearing on or connection with the matter at hand

That being said, relevance is about connecting with people, having a good bearing and grasp about where they are at. I personally feel it has less to do with suits, big pulpits and fiery preaching than knowing those you are ministering to and meeting them where they are at. To me, the key bible passage on relevant ministry is 1 Cor. 9-19-23:

"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you."

Anyway, just read through what you have written in your blog so far. I see a very relevant man when I read your stuff.

I truly feel that as we seek to know God and follow him, he will make us relevant to the people we are reaching out to.

God bless, my friend!

Neil said...

Thanks for the comments, my post was not meant to sound whiney, but to expose my desire to be a relevant person. Our need to touch lives is very real, to stretch people and see them grow is always our desire.

I simply want to be the kind of person that effectively ministers to my generation!

michigan preacher said...

You don't sound whiney at all. I get to thinking about this stuff too. I do want to make an impact out there.