First, some background…
A few years ago the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps asked me to research the attitudes of incoming 18-, 19-, and 20-year old recruits toward religion and church. I interviewed young men and women across mainstream America. One of the questions I asked was, “What is your opinion of church?” Two words came back over and over: boring and irrelevant.
“Relevance” is one of the hallmarks of an effective, contagious church. Attendees who find their church speaking clearly and creatively to life issues not only return, but bring friends. “Relevance” is found in the words and rhythm of songs…in the style and appearance of facilities…in children’s Sunday School and topics in the adult classes. But perhaps more than any other area, relevance must be found in the sermon.
In his book, What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary, veteran pastor James Emery White talks about how to make preaching relevant: “The most important thing has to do with your sermon topics. They should address people’s life issues and questions about the faith… That means you try to bring as…Continue Reading