Sometimes I stand in awe of how Christians cause Christianity to become irrelevant. I am not speaking about the language we use when we preach or even the types of programs we have at church. We have somehow become convinced that if the church is not a certain way, then we will not be “relevant”.
I would like to propose a different view and it has to do with something beyond the church. As Christians, we are the church. We are a representative of Christ to this world. Wouldn’t you say that it is more important to be relevant as an individual and then maybe the church would have more credibility in this world?
The word relevant is over-used. Relevant is defined as : having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand; affording evidence tending to prove or disprove the matter at issue or under discussion. We make the church relevant, when we as believers give evidence of Christ working in our lives.
Relevance is not the songs we sing or the style of service we have at church. Relevance is living for Christ and displaying to the world that we can be in the world and not of it. Relevance is purity in an impure world. Friends, being relevant is being different, not more like the world. I know some say we must appeal to the people. We must appeal to the sinner and I agree. When I came to Christ, however, I didn’t expect the church to become like me, I wanted to become like them. I wanted to change. Relevance is not making salvation more comfortable. Relevance is living like Jesus lived.
Recently, when we were in Oklahoma City, Hannah and I took a walk across a foot bridge. When we got to the other side, we went down some steps and I saw the classic example of a Christian becoming irrelevant to this world. It was Christian Graffiti. It was a painting on the sidewalk that posed the question, WWJD? What would Jesus do? Perhaps the graffiti artist should have asked themselves that question before they spray painted. Jesus wouldn’t deface property with Christian Graffiti.
Irrelevance is proclaiming to be a Christian and cussing like a sailor. It is wearing a Christian T-shirt and being rude to your cashier. It is leaving a tract for your waitress with a worthless tip. Irrelevance is speeding down the road with a Christian bumper sticker on your car. Do you get the point? We must be relevant by living like Jesus would. Then maybe the world would find the church worth something.