One of our popular buzz words is relevant. We want the
information we consume to be relevant, to relate (connect) to what we need. In
matters generally considered to be religious, you will hear the cry for relevant
worship and relevant preaching. What is this about?
If something is relevant it is capable of being applied. It is information or instruction presented in such a fashion, we can use it. This would require simplicity. And this means the information or instruction must be delivered so that it connects with what people think, say and do.
It is presented in such a fashion as to encourage application. Especially in preaching and teaching, it is important for the presenter to press his points in such a way, people in the audience are encouraged to do what is recommended and avoid what is condemned. Audiences should be led to self-examination, motivated to act and challenged to do better.
It has a bearing on one’s life. Some information is merely academic and may cater to general curiosity, but has no real (direct) bearing on how you live your life. Not everything that is true is relevant. Academic information (data, facts) may well lead to practical teaching and be necessary to arrive at that destination. But ultimately, what is relevant must bear directly upon the matters of one’s daily life: being saved from sin, honoring Christ, being a good parent, worker, neighbor, friend, church member, etc.
Finally, something may be clever, creative, contemporary, charismatic and cute – but still not be relevant to what we need. Guard against so-called relevance.
If you seek relevant instruction for your life and to present to others, there is a single resource for relevance.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16,17)
By Warren E Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 13.5; May 2006