What is it that makes the church/Christianity relevant? Some Christians must think being loud and obnoxious is what it takes to be relevant. I am very thankful that is a small handful of people. Some Christians think we are relevant when America is considered a Christian nation. I am glad that God’s kingdom is much larger than America. Some Christians think we are relevant when we are reaching the lost. We have plenty of people who would agree with that statement but fewer who actually take action on the thought. Others would say it is when we are meeting the needs of our community, modeling the ministry and compassion of Jesus. I wish we had more people who felt that was important. Still others might say we are here to glorify God and so we are most relevant when we spend time in worship. Then the question is, “What constitutes worship?”
More and more people today are talking about heaven and the kingdom. There is a shifting emphasis from waiting on heaven to being a part of the heaven movement today fulfilling the Lord’s prayer of “on earth as it is in heaven.” The thinking is that if the kingdom has already begun here on earth then we do not have to wait to “get to heaven” to begin living out kingdom business. The shift has been from thinking God’s people are those who have the correct theology and doctrinal stances to God’s people being those who are actively engaged in His mission. It is possible to be dressed for war but not be willing to actively engage in battle, rendering all the pomp and circumstance meaningless.
What are the results? We are seeing a shift from churches that have traditionally grown from transfer growth where Christians have moved from smaller churches to larger churches to engaging in the mission and bringing in non-Christians. We have also seen a shift of priority from having the right battle dress to actively being engaged in the fight. It is more like the difference between Israel’s troops who looked like an army but would not take on Goliath’s challenge and the non-traditional warrior, David, who stepped in and was willing to fight God’s fight. Because of that we are seeing more and more churches actively engaging their community in order to do kingdom work today. There is also a certain level of boldness that comes when you know you are in the fight God cares about. If you are on the battle field alone it is easy to be scared but when you are on it with the Lord of all creation then you have a reason to be bold. I think we are starting to see more David’s and a lot less sitting in the tents hoping a real warrior will show up. If we are going to be relevant we have to be willing to take on the Goliaths of our day and be in the fight God is engaged in – the fight against injustice and poverty and against the forces of evil and darkness. Found that on an appreciation for scripture and a foundation on Christ that is informed by scripture and you have a Relevant church.