Saturday, February 28, 2009

Relevant or Trendy?

A friend of mine recently sent this to me:

Position DescriptionWorship Pastor

Part-time. Church Relevant is looking for a worship leader who can rock it out! We're a brand new nondenominational church plant with a huge vision to impact and influence our current culture for Jesus. In just a few months we've grown to almost 100 people simply by word of mouth. We believe the next step for us is a slammin' worship team. If you have a fresh approach, a love for jeans, an appreciation for all things multi-media, a humble spirit and a passion to serve Jesus, then we would love to hear from you. These are the very earliest days in the CR; you could be part of building this vision that is all about "helping people find their way to Jesus". We're looking for radical people of faith who see tomorrow just as clearly as they see today.

Kent Comments:

Isn’t the ‘relevant’ motif for churches becoming a bit tiring?  There is nothing heretical per se about ‘rock it out’, ‘slammin’ worship team’, ‘love for jeans’ and ‘appreciation for all things multi-media.’  If those things get your church motor running, fine – I suppose.

But isn’t it about time to move beyond this whole ‘relevant’ business – which has become an annoying buzzword – to some model that does more than just skim the surface of our already superficial culture?

And there are dangers in the trendy ‘relevant’ model, dangers that are revealed in this notice.

Start with the idea of a ‘fresh’ approach.  Sounds hip, doesn’t it?  But a church can only be ‘fresh’ in some metaphorical sense.  So is the church like vegetables, which you want ‘fresh’?  Or is it more like fine wine or cheese, which should not be ‘fresh’ but aged?

Also, from what is written here, it appears that this ‘worship leader’ (notice the very truncated view of worship implied here) need have no particular level of musical knowledge.  All that matters is that he can ‘rock’ and ‘slam’ – whatever that might mean.

But beyond that, notice that ‘Church Relevant’ appears to have no concern whatsoever for the theological knowledge of this ‘worship leader.’  Multi-media manipulation skills seem to trump a deep knowledge of the Christian faith.

Think of how important it is for a church to sing good theology.  It is likely that more Bible doctrine (or lack of it) is ‘sung’ into a congregation than is ‘preached’ into it.  There is a whole tradition of church music over the centuries that can be drawn on to help convey the very essence of the Christian faith into the hearts of people.  Some of that will be missed if all we do is ‘rock and slam.’

But apparently, at ‘Church Relevant’ all they care about is the ‘rock and slam’ factor.  Is this really relevant, or is it just a very tired version of trendy?

It is time to abandon the idea that if only we could make our church ‘cool’ then we will have done the work of God.  As far as I can tell, the ‘cool’ factor is of no importance to God whatsoever.  Maybe we should adjust our thinking about church accordingly.

No comments: