Should The Church Be Culturally Relevant? This is a question that I hear often, as a matter of fact I received an e-mail from a friend, pastor and speaker who was recently defending this question with her peers. She asked me my thoughts and my brief email response to the question is below:
It’s about being relevant and engaging culture. The church must be relevant and understand that we live in an ever-changing and ever evolving culture, if we want to reach people for Christ. The methods must change, but the message “the word” never changes. Some of fastest growing and thriving churches have cultures that understand the concept and terminology culturally relevant.
One example of the importance of cultural relevance is the YouVersion Bible app. This app was created within the local church “LifeChurch.tv” with one purpose, leveraging technology to engage people in God’s word. The app now has over 110 versions and is translated in over 40 languages. Over 19 million people have downloaded the Bible App (3.5 million in the last 2 months). Over 5 billions minutes have been read on a Bible that is not bound with paper. This is a form of being culturally relevant and engaging people “where they are” which is on their mobile device.
This app can be viewed as important and historic as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, as it relates to people engaging in the Bible. I would say a Bible Reading Revolution is one form of cultural relevance that outlines the importance of engaging people where they are. The youversion Bible App was an easy one, but this applies to many other aspects of evangelism, style, worship, the church, sharing the Gospel and reaching people with the Good News of Jesus.
Dean William Inge says it this way, “A church that marries the spirit of an age, becomes the widow of the next generation.”
Those that argue that cultural relevance should not exist within the church; ministry and the body of Christ… are probably not culturally relevant. The bottom line is that every church is culturally relevant, some are just relevant to a culture that has long past.
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22
Should The Church Be Culturally Relevant?