Thursday, April 23, 2009

A new kind of relevant

Sometimes we can't help but be pulled by the currents surrounding us and telling us the latest trend setting moves, the latest gadgets, the in thing, the latest catch phrase and many more. The pressure to sound, look and think old often grip us in the nerves so much so that we become people constantly challenged to chart a pathway that looks forward. The pressures and challenges of being relevant.

Being relevant is what we want and need to chart forward but often we plow in the wrong direction way too often, more often than we want sometimes. When i say this I'm mostly reframing these thoughts on being church. I agree with the fact that we have to be relevant, we need to. With the escalating changes in the society, it's simply dumb not to be relevant, to think new things.

But all to often the church at times has charted a misleading demeanor of how to be relevant. We put our efforts of carrying the yardstick of relevance, too much I think, in the our church building's architecture, the order of service, the music we sing and how it is played, the programs we have, the order of service and some things that I could think of. We care too much in the image of being relevant so much so that it disfigures the potent witness the church could have had towards society. Being relevant has become an idol in itself and unless we are ready to admit to this that is.

So, where should we chart a progressive and 'balanced' take on being relevant? One thing is for sure though is we need to be relevant. We need fresh expressions of faith coupled with how we merge them with the progressive phase of technology for example. We need at some points facilities, if we have the means, for social engagement and connecting with people around us. In a way, being relevant tells us we are serious about our faith by adapting an ancient faith in a changing world.

We progress by our embrace of relevance but we must not let the relevant bug take total control in charting our faith and influence as a church and community. Another take on relevant is also how we see shifting priorities in people. In the western world, there is a sense of disease with modernity. Thus comes a brooding postmodern generation that are not impressed with modern meanderings. More people are seeing community, justice, environmental care, spirituality, the arts as important. The church should see these groans as a 'relevant' passage to enter in. In fact, the groans displayed are stuff the christian faith is actually relevant in how it deals with them. Stuff that christian faith is closer at home with.

So we do need to rephrase how we understand being relevant, in a church community context.

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Hopeful Theo

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OIL TOWN, SWK, Malaysia
I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations