If I'm honest, I really struggle with criticism and being questioned.
Even if I know its coming or I agree with the other person. Even though I know its healthy and not usually meant as the personal attack I take it as!
After spouting on about whether or not we are 'relevant' to non-Christians, I was questioned as to whether that is actually what we should be seeking. After listening to the discussion from a different point of view and a different level of wisdom, I had to admit that my previous assurances where a little off track.
1. having some sensible or logical connection with something else
2. having some bearing on or importance for real-world issues, present-day events, or the current state of society
I think in the church, we have taken being relevant to mean being cool or being similar to the world. We have tried to incorporate modern technology and modern culture into the way we do church and do life, so that those outside the church will see something they recognise.
Instead our lives should be relevant to others by the way we connect ourselves to them. And by the way they then become connected to God through us.
By living a life that clearly demonstrates the importance of God's love, his grace, mercy, kindness in every situation, we will demonstrate how important God is today. When we allow God to have an impact on every aspect of our life, we become relevant because we live out the Kingdom of Heaven on earth today. We show those around us how God is in the 'now' and also the 'not yet'.
When we seek to be relevant, we focus on the world around us. We look for ways to make sense in the world's terms.
When we seek first his kingdom, we place our focus on God.
When we look for ways to show his love (grace, mercy, kindness) we start to make sense in God's terms. We become so attractive and fascinating to the world that the world becomes desperate to know more. The world longs to see God in the 'now' and learns to anticpate the 'not yet'.
Then we become relevant.