Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Relevance in worship. Is it Biblical?

November 23, 2009

When I hear people talking about relevance in worship, I mostly hear people talking about music styles: “we worship this way because this is the audience we have” or “we worship this way because this is the audience we want to reach.”  For youth worship we worship one way and we worship another way with old people in the name of relevance.

Is there a Biblical command for this way of thinking?

Doug Goins in his article titled “Relevance and Irrelevance in Worship” says:

“Jesus addresses this issue in the Gospels, and it is central to the passage we are studying. What is important and unimportant in corporate worship? John 4:16-26 deals with relevance and irrelevance in worship.”

The passage:

John 4:16-26 NIV:

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

“I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

I’m not convinced that this is at all about relevance in worship, though, you might disagree if you read his article.

What is the Biblical precedent for making our worship offering relevant to the people in our congregations?  I have some ideas here, but most of them are philosophical applications and observations and not anything real concrete.


Christmas Commercialism FTW?

November 16, 2009

The funniest thing about Christmas is that the people who complain about how popular Christmas is tend to be the people who should be happiest that Christmas is such a big deal.  While the rest of the world is out there promoting Christ, many of our brothers and sisters are decrying the commercialism that comes with Jesus’ birthday.

Why? What a great mechanism for getting the word out about Jesus!  Heck, a big part about evangelism practically takes care of itself this time of year!  We just need to be out there seizing the moments and making a good impression on people!

Now, I know that people are reading this are still grumbling about commercialism, greed, and whatever else they can come up with.  After all, this is just my opinion right?  I don’t know.  I read Paul in Philippians 1:15-18 where he acknowledges that there are going to be some who preach Christ for their own gain (v17).  Paul asks “But what does it matter?” then answers by saying motives don’t matter.  What matters is that Christ is preached.  I think that Paul, the ultimate evangelist would shout “Christmas commercialism FTW!” then put himself in a position to do his job while somebody else takes care of the promotion part.

So while there is a lot of noise at Christmas, one thing cannot be denied: eventually somebody is going to be confronted with the Jesus side of Christmas.  A seed has to be planted before it can grow.

So I wonder, are you going to be doing your part to make sure that they are able to get good answers?  Or are you going to hide at home and bemoan this season for its supposed folly?

Christmas Commercialism FTW!