Some people are scared of “relevant” preaching. I understand that many see if as a catchphrase that means the bible has been replaced by issues in preaching.
You can pick any number of churches that will tell good stories and make you feel warm and fuzzy while never mentioning the fact that Jesus talked a lot about a kingdom where entrance comes only through Him. Heck, they’ll even wave some palm branches and talk about how Easter Sunday celebrates Christ rising from the dead. They just won’t tell you why He went to the cross in the first place and why He had to die and why you have to know it. Good stories but no “why’s.”
A lot of churches call themselves “relevant” and mean that they won’t waste your time with stuff that makes you squirm. It’s like going to the doctor for that pain in your side. He tells you you’re fine because he doesn’t want to upset you. Boom! Two days later your appendix bursts.
“Relevant” preaching becomes entirely irrelevant when it cuts out the Truth.
Shying away from being relevant is not the answer to bringing people Good News. Who wants to put that on their church sign? “Irrelevant preaching since 1908.”
Being relevant means teaching Truth in connecting and applicable ways. It can use music, video and stories. (Have you ever heard of that famous preacher who taught a lot using parables? His name was Jesus.)
Jesus was relevant.
While some want to cling to teaching Scripture line by line as the only true way to preach, the model of Jesus demonstrates that a good story can do much to help people grasp the Truth.
It is possible to become a bible scholar and miss what makes God’s Word relevant. Who were the best trained bible scholars of Jesus day?
Study it to know Him. Study it to become like Him.
“Relevant” is not a dirty word.