Relevance and Reality

What does it mean to be a Christ-follower?

All too often, I hear people talk about “relevance” and how the Church needs to be that. Relevant. But what does that mean?

I don’t think relevance is as broad as it’s being made out to be. For example, I think the Church should absolutely be relevant in its music, preaching style, decor, outreach, etc. This means the Church actively looks at its congregation and community and asks relevant questions:

“What does our community need? How can we practically meet the needs of those around us? Why do they do what they do and how can we redirect their attention to look at Christ?”

“Where are the needs of my Church right now? What do the people struggle with? What are their joys, interests, passions? How can we help them reach the world around them? What can we do to empower their actions?”

These are all good questions, and questions that keep us relevant. But this is as far as the word should be used.

But this is as far as the word should be used.

As Christ-followers, our relevance should never be used in relation to our lifestyles or message. We need to stand firm on what the Lord has made explicit in Scripture.

Holiness, Community, Fellowship, Unity, Discipleship, Love.

When we begin to compromise on these foundation stones of our lives – or teach anything that waters them down – we risk diminishing the freedom Christ offers to a self-help barely-surviving attitude toward life that is not only unattainable (because we have cut off the outpouring of the Spirit’s power), but false.

Jesus is the way, and He has shown us through the apostles the way. It is our responsibility as His disciples to walk in His light and be so in love with His ways that we cannot imagine life any different.

Yes, Christianity is exclusive in the sense that Jesus calls us to a life that is radically different from everything we’ve known. But it is inclusive because He welcomes every single person into this life. We get to choose if we want to participate and therefore receive the

We get to choose if we want to participate and therefore receive the promises and relationship with Christ. But we don’t get to compromise. He didn’t give us that option.

True reality is rooted in His Word. To be a Christ-follower is to be relevant, but rooted in the reality of the Scriptures.  Let’s pour our lives into learning the Way of Christ and only then find true relevance to the world around us.


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