On the one hand it seems to make sense Biblically: "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 Cor. 9:22-23). It also makes sense logically: If we cannot relate to those around us, how do we expect to have a voice to speak into their lives?
However, here are some elements we should keep in mind:
- What's relevant in one community is not relevant in another. Think of ministering in rural Michigan vs. inner city Detroit...
- How easy is it to compromise on elements of the gospel as we seek to be relevant? Granted, a lot of church don't compromise, but many have and continue to do so.
- The gospel - more specifically being the 'good news' to others - is ALWAYS relevant. Let's focus on being the gospel in the flesh rather than figuring out how to make the message fit.
- The idea of relevancy only entrenches the consumerist mentality within the church. That is, "We need to meet the needs of everyone."
I'm sure there are other points to make, but these are just intended to start the conversation...we need to strike a balance between the issues of being relevant, being real, being loving and seeking Christ in every aspect of life.