We already established in a previous post that being relevant as a Church, does not mean compromising who we are as Christians. Nor does it mean compromising truth. Certain realities do not change, like the eternal truth of Scripture based on who God is. We can, however, biblically find great flexibility in style, form, methodology, and structure, that can enable us to be relevant without watering down or violating God’s Word.
Ways the Church Can be Relevant without Compromising Truth
Relevancy cannot lead to changing the message. Our culture does not define truth but rather God does. Instead, we put the unadulterated truth of God’s Word in terms or language people can understand. It’s about adapting how we communicate, not what we communicate.
Jesus lived among people, talking their language, yet remained 100% God (Phil. 2:6-8).
Like Jesus, we can start by ministering to people’s physical or felt needs, never forgetting their greatest and most real need.
Like Jesus, we can use every day, familiar objects or illustrations to communicate truth.
By meeting people where they are, we’re showing them the connection between truth and their real life issues. Again, we’re not changing truth to fit them but rather showing how God and His ways already fit even their deepest needs.
This means Bible lessons and sermons aim for more than head knowledge. We seek to show the implications and application of truth to people’s lives. We tap into their age level characteristics and needs, to help meet them where they are. We get to know the people we serve so we can tailor our approach to them.
How We Can be Relevant in Different Aspects of Ministry
Relevancy needs to extend beyond how we connect with people to how we function as a Church. Here are just a few ways to consider:
- We make programs relevant by structuring according to needs, not because “we’ve always done it that way”.
- Presentations and meetings become more relevant when we employ current technology and creative methodology, and not merely do what’s comfortable for the leader.
- Recruiting people for ministry becomes more relevant when we emphasize the worth of getting people involved, rather than simply filling a position
- Training for ministry becomes more relevant when it gets tailored to people’s needs rather than simply applying a one-size-fits-all approach.