It is the buzz word for the past 30 or so years in the American Church--Relevant. We want relevant worship, relevant preaching. What does relevance mean? Should the Church be relevant or make the Gospel relevant?
In one definition I found, relevant means: bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; pertinent: a relevant remark.
If relevance is simply connecting the Gospel to the World, making it easier to understand and applicable to every day life, then obviously we should strive to be relevant.
Yet the Gospel is in many ways a message from another world. Think about it. In our society, the first is the one who camps out overnight outside the store or ticket booth. In the Gospel, the first is the one who is last. In our society, we have rights and must fight to keep them. In the Gospel we are called to lay aside our rights and serve others. In our world, if you hit me, I have every right to hit you back or at least call the cops and have you arrested. In the Gospel, peacemaking and turning the other cheek is the call. It is a message outside myself, outside my nature. The Gospel is the message of a different life, we were created to live. But we have been living in a foreign land for so long we don't remember who we truly are. The Gospel awakens us to who we were created to be. So what does this do to relevance?
We want to connect the Gospel to the matter at hand. Yet is it a call to make it palatable to the world? Do we run the risk making the message relevant of watering down the message or of syncrenizing messages (the blending of the Gospel with the culture)?
How do we hold the message with integrity and make it relevant?