“Are we relevant?”

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I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 9:22b-23 ESV

So many inside, and outside the church today claim Christianity is irrelevant. Its simply not true. Walking with Christ as a part of his body has been, and will always be relevant. Time and distance from the origins of Christianity has not made it irrelevant. All too often the reason the church and its teachings may appear irrelevant, is because of the way “Christians” portray christianity to one another and those on the outside.

Too often Christians seem to be on the attack. They’re highly critical in their approach to the world around them. They withdraw from the world and yet want the world to come to them for the answers. Continually bashing politicians, political parties, public education, and complaining about the lack of morals, and ethics in the world does not win people over to Christ. It builds walls.

“Churchianity” is a great hinderance to the cause of Christ. The mindset of trying to win folks over to certain type of Christianity, or church only exacerbates the anxiety many feel about interacting with “Christians”. Even people that have never attended church anywhere are confused by the fact that there is only one Jesus, and so many different churches.  This leaves them wondering what church is the right church.

Quite simply, it is our lack of Christ like behavior that makes us irrelevant. We may exhibit “churchy” behavior, but that is not what people want to see. If they know we claim to be a follower of Jesus, they want to see Him in us. They want to hear from someone that wants to relate to them, not tell them of their shortcomings.

Paul applied Jesus way of relating to people to his life, and ministry. He became all things to all people, so as to relate to them. In relating to them like Jesus did he was able to speak to them and they would listen. Paul wanted to share with others what he had in Christ. He was willing to go to many different lengths to achieve his goal of sharing the Gospel with everyone he could. He chose to be relevant.

We need to choose to be relevant. We need to choose to find a way to relate to the people that cross our path. The Bible and the church are not irrelevant. Perhaps it is us as individuals that make ourselves irrelevant in how we communicate our faith. What we have is a failure to communicate. We need to learn to speak the truth in love, learn to listen, and learn to love the lost as Jesus did, and like Paul did.

When we have a true love for the lost we will do what it takes to relate to them so that we can tell them about Jesus and his way. We need to point people to Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life and there is no other way to the Father except through him. Jesus is relevant, let’s be relevant too.

 

© 2015 Leo J. Woodman

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