Why Staying RELEVANT is NOT RELEVANT



“Relevancy” is an interesting word.

I understand it’s draw. To a large degree, I even understand it’s importance. So sure… keep striving for relevancy in your churches. BUT (and it’s a big one), the battle to remain relevant is one that consumes, and often detracts from our first objective (to make disciples).


The battle to remain relevant is one that consumes & often detracts from our first objective. @danniobracken Click To Tweet

The church I grew up in (which will remain unnamed) has invested thousands of capital dollars into building more “relevant” community spaces. Much needed, I agree… but investing in capital without investing in people first is a poor showing of stewardship. The “build it and they will come” mentality of the mega-church boom has proven unfruitful in areas of true discipleship.

 

The projector screen, as a small example, is one thing that currently divides “Traditional” from “Contemporary” worship. Yet, in terms of function, the screen is rarely being used to it’s potential. Simply using it for poorly formatted text and low-quality google-search images makes it even less enjoyable than holding a dusty hymnal. At least the hymnals have musical notes to clue the melody.


I can understand why “the elders” pitch a fit when our screens covered their beautiful, story-rich stained glass windows. The screen was never meant to be our new hymnal. It’s designed to be our new canvas for telling stories. What we call “contemporary” is already today’s “traditional”. Today’s heresy becomes tomorrow’s orthodoxy. And today’s orthodoxy is tired and outdated.


Relevance alone becomes the cloak that hides our spiritual insecurities. @danniobracken @twelve30media Click To Tweet

When we say “relevant”, we mostly mean “incarnational”. God came as a baby; “to share in our humanity”. God incarnate. The same is for us in our neighborhoods. “Relevancy” alone becomes the cloak that hides our spiritual insecurities. To be “incarnate” means we are in relationship with our people. Down and dirty. Nitty Gritty. Hands-on. At Ginghamsburg, we encourage a system of discipleship called “life groups”. The graph below illustrates something very interesting.


21 Graph


People don’t come or go because we have quality worship. Quality worship sustained attendance for a little while, but people come and go based on the quality of their relationships. We will forever be chasing changing technology. That’s a fact. But that’s not being relevant… that’s just being current.


True relevancy finds itself in the depths of humanity. Courage must replace fear, because God wants to take us to the darkest corners of the world. Take off your cloak. It’s time to reclaim our first objective: To create disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. And THAT will always be counter-cultural.


True relevancy finds itself in the depths of humanity. @danniobracken @twelve30media Click To Tweet



About the Author_02

Author Photo - Dan Bracken

DAN BRACKEN
Senior Media Producer
Ginghamsburg Church | Tipp City, OH
ginghamsburg.org

Dan graduated from Asbury College in 2006 with a degree in media communication. A few months later, he joined the staff of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, OH as a graphic design intern. After learning a thing or two over the years, Dan is now Senior Media Producer and leads a team of 80 unpaid media servants. Through his incredible creative ability, God has used him to change lives through the power of story. Dan lives in Tipp City, OH with his wife, Amy, and has 3 year old twins.