Alan had a great idea the other day, and I'm going to run with it.
First, however, his little paragraph on "liturgy" is a good answer for when folks ask a certain question. Sometimes when I'm explaining the use of prayerbooks and set liturgies to folks, they respond with, "So you have to read this, this and this?" Now, it's an honest question, and there's nothing wrong with it; it just shows that when some people think "structure," think they rigid and overly confining. (There is, after all, a good kind of "boxing-in.")
Go check it out. Now here's my quick take:
When a church says it's "relevant," I assume they are less faithful to the proclamation of God in Jesus Christ.
I think they mean to say, "our sermons and expositons of the Scriptures appeal to the values and lifestyles of people in our society."
I don't think the Christian proclamation is very appealing to the typical American lifestyle or its values, and it shouldn't be. "Relevant" means, "we're offering you a way into what you think is a good or better life," and "Jesus makes good things better." Has anybody seen that recent popular devotional book, Just Add Jesus? That's just the kind of stuff I'm talking about.
(You know, kind of like this. HT: Kendall Harmon)
I would never consider being part of a church that calls itself "relevant," for those reasons. But, I could change my mind about the whole thing - which is why I'm asking y'all. I also realize the question isn't overly diplomatic, but I thought it was more fair to state my position at the beginning rather than say, "Oooh, what do you guys think" and then pounce.
What do you critters think?