Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Staying Relevant

Because I am trying to start a new church in an urban area, I am frequently confronted with the importance of being relevant. And I confess, it is one of the most frustrating disciplines I undertake. That's why I was greatly encouraged this morning by these words from this past Sunday's sermon delivered by John Piper:

As a preacher, I think a lot about relevance. That is, why should anyone listen to what I have to say? Why should anybody care? Relevance is an ambiguous word. It could mean more than one thing. It might mean that a sermon is relevant if it feels to the listeners that it will make a significant difference in their lives. Or it might mean that a sermon is relevant if it will make a significant difference in their lives whether they feel it or not. That second kind of relevance is what guides my sermons. In other words, I want to say things that are really significant for your life whether you know they are or not. My way of doing that is to stay as close as I can to what God says is important in his word, not what we think is important apart God’s word.

In a day when so many want to move away from the theological goldmine found in the Bible, it is important for us to understand that the Bible, correctly understood, is always relevant. We may have to work at it in our application of the Bible, but we must not think that staying relevant means we cannot proclaim the Bible in its original context and meaning.

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