Monday, July 03, 2006

I Wish I Had Written This

I want to see people's lives changed by the power of Jesus Christ but the word 'relevant' sticks in my throat to the point of making me gag! I discovered these words in a post from October 2005 over at Ryan Bolger's The BolgBlog.

Relevant churches are rarely even closely relevant. Most Christians don't even like them. They might be better than Mom and Dad's morning service, but they usually are quite irrelevant to the outsider. The church person cannot 'guess' what the seeker wants, doubtedly getting it wrong. What Christians need o do is create meaningful worship through bringing their very own lives to God. Worship must reflect the culture of the community that is currently part of the church, not replicate current worship CDs, nor 1980s soft rock, nor 18th century hymns.Instead of mimicking other church cultures, the community collectively brings their own idiosyncratic ways of life to God,whatever they may be. Indeed, the church may have the stray outsider finding themselves in the worship service and joining the community. But if the focus is on them, simply to be relevant, their worship will satisfy neither the church members nor the outsider.

Read the whole article at Please, No More Doing Church for "Them"
Dr. Ryan Bolger, Assistant Professor of Church in Contemporary Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary.

2 comments:

Preacher Mom said...

Thanks for the link. This is a great piece. (Dare I say, very 'relevant'? Sorry!!!)

Morris said...

In Relevant magazine (didn't record which issue ... I got it at a conference or something), Winn Collier (about whom I know nothing) wrote the following:

"God is the one who always has initiated the relationship between God and His people If worship is primarily something we make happen, then worship is centered on us. If worship is centered on us, it is small -- God is small.
"And this small god is one we use for our own devices. Worship becomes centrally what we "feel," what we "want," the style we like. We race after worship experiences like addicts race after the back alley crack dealer. Rather than being captured by the Eternal One, we simply use His name for an emotional high. We view God as the one enabling us to "enjoy worship," another perk from the endless giver of good things. We miss the audience of our worship. We forget we stand on holy ground in His presence. We forget we were created for His glory, not Him for ours. The god we worship is one of our own making, and nothing could be more boring than that."

See it and other quotes at my newly launched quotelibrary.blogspot.com.