Thats one of the big questions being touted around these days. Just about everyone who has some opportunity to speak from a secular platform these days is asking that question. Should we even bother to answer? Do we have the answer even? I know that we must be relevant because we are the fulfillment of that great declaration of Jesus, that He is the builder of the church, and that as the church advances against Satan's strongholds they will not be able to hold us back or stop our entrance. To occupy till He comes is to take over enemy territory. In our quest to justify our relevance though we need to be careful that we don't take our cues from the world or that we are willing to compromise the Holy standards.

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Quite right there! Sis. Wood. The heart of the problem is that we have a superior God, a superior leader, yet those who offer a mere counterfeit are doing so much better at converting- Look at mister Farakahn with his nation of Islalm... they present a way of life that they are able to portray. The mass of kingdomites are hardly even aware that they are kingdomites much more to live as such! A friend of mine likes to say: Be the Word to the world and if there is time then tell the Word to the world. We've got to get it right here first.
The problem that keeps the church from being relevant in these times can be linked with the disciples. In Luke the 18th chapter 28th verse. (Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.) We must stop looking for everything that we can gain in the world, And begin to forsake the world and all therein and Seek first the Kingdom of God and all of it's righteousness. Yes we all want our loved ones to come along, And we want to be with family, friends etc.. but we must begin to search for God and most assuredly we will be happy with the results.
I agree with what is being replied but I think also if in church the church leaders aren't preaching the Word of God but just delivering warm fuzzy when I leave I feel good feeling sermons most people do feel empty and most don't realize it because it's turned into a routine. Don't forget we are in the last Church Age, the luke warm Laodicean church where material things (world) are more important. It's the worst church age of all the ages besides Sardis which was spiritually dead. Please any of you that are ministers don't get me wrong on this but there are a lot of ministers more concerned with filling up their churches with performances rather than preaching the Word. It's not about the minister but about what is he/she telling and preaching. I personally can't sit in a church and hear stories, I want to hear and learn the Word. I don't want warm fuzzy feelings, I want to be convicted if it may be the case. I'm not concerned with who perfoms and provides the best speeching techniques. Also if you're not reading to me from the KJV then we're not reading the same book. God bless you all.
As it stands right now, the church is practcally irelevant. Yes, I know I am getting ready to draw some real heat but hear me out on this one. People want to feel and believe that God exists and is present and in the world working on their behalf. It is up to us the redeemed to convey this feeling. Yes eschatologically I am more than convinced that we will be saved, Jesus has handled his business even b4 the formations of the world were established, however people need and want a salvation right now. This is what is called realized eschatology, or right now salvation. I am not speaking of some microwave good feeling but rather a real and experienced means of existing in the world. this again is not your come to worship, shout leave on cloud 9 experience but rather a sense of well being, temperance, wholeness, healing. This is impossible to acheive when currently we as a church are preoccupied with name it and claim it, Biggie Smalls theologies of "get Money" or theologies that are so focused upwardly towards the heavens that they trip over and trip up those of us situated in this earthly realm. Be logical someone with no access to healthcare, no acess to quality education, facing sexism, racism, homophobiaism, classism, nationalism, and the list goes on ain't gonna trust a God they can't detect when they are so overcome with problems they can't avoid! Who could blame them,. it ain't their fault it's ours we're to blame! We have been so busy playing church. We aren't at all holy in the sense of being after God's will, we are hole-filled with hole filled theologies. Be honest preachers, many of us still succomb and reduce are theological inquiries to outdated and racist theologians. You know them commentaries, Adam Clarke, Ironside, Spurgeon, John Philips, Butler, Olferd, Mathew Henry and the list goes on and on. These men were exclusionary in their theology and practiced a Christianity that served rather than critiqued and held accountable the state. For this reason slavery, colonialism, the overarching assault on Africans and their desendants (us), consumerism, extreme social Darwinism (capitalism), wars, and a barage of other non Christian atrocities have continued to flourish and persist. (Yes, I admit I read them and a few others too, but that's only for conversational purposes by no means do they ground my theology! ) Thus we develop poor theologies, preach poor sermons that move folks in the moment but not the spiritual strongholds Paul says we struggle against. We must speak on issues of injustice.
The Levitical holliness codes concerned justice and care for the poor and oppressed. When's the l;ast time you heard a holy sermon about cementing our right to vote as opposed to having it reviewed for renewal every 20 years?
So yes until we as a church preach Jesus as the Christ, and focus on his life, which led Him to be lynched upon Calvary's mountain (f.y.i. contrary to the televised and cinematic depictions of Christ He was not killed for being a nice guy who loved children and was warm and fuzzy a walking talking bed time story a Telly Tubbie sort of fellow, no He was a revolutionary who threatened every aspect of the established religious and governing order) we will continue to be irelevant. That's why the young adult demographic is slim in our conventions nationally. They want a religion they can feel and one that feels them. The mantle falls upon us preachers. Let us please begin preaching sermons that will be relevant to our experiences as Black folks, watch the news become civicly minded, do what Jesus did! yes it will get you killed, slaughtered even, despised among mena nd women, talked about, slandered, funny looks and the like. You will have your reputation murdered and your ministry perhaps at times seemingly abandoned. Honestly, however, take courage preachers we serve a God who is in the ministry reviatalizing, revigorating, restoring, and Ressurecting business. Folk may lay you out for the count but God will cause you stand up again, and not only that but He'll cause you to be better than ever! And what's more though others will forsake you, abandon you, and leave you out to dry for dead He will never put more on us than we can bear and He also promised to Never Leave Us!

As always your questions, comments, concerns and critiques are welcomed wanted, and warrented. Check out my blog!
We must know that the Church, the body of Christ is and shall always be relevant. The problem lies when we begin too go around Christ, in our sermons and our lives. We like every preacher we hear, we put up with all types of sin.
And the have the audacity to ask if we are relevant. So glad God looks to the individual, and will one day judge the individual, too much politicin' schoolin' and readings of many books, begins too make one quote Josephus, AND Luther, more than Solomon and the Prophets. that is where irrelevance comes in. too many are Bishops, and other clergy but none seem too be servants. Too much time spent on loving another, and not loving one another. Let's keep it real, the Church is relevant to all, for we are to show Christ too a dying world, too be the light on the path, but when you boil it down and remove all the junk out of the way, our leaders don't believe what they teach for it would be lived and grace, mercy, peace ,joy, understanding, deliverance, healing and the likes would exist in the Body.
Remember my brethren God is not mocked, but we can mock ourselves.
Nah, we ain't doin enough politicing and enough schooling. We need to take heed of the social ills of society. This is what the prophets of old did. We can not seperate ourselves from the society we are in. Jesus spoke of the Kingdom as yeast, and its inhabitants as salt, small ingrediants that alters thier environments! We must persist this is the mantle. It is not enough to preach Jesus, we must preach the significance of Jesus and what Jesus sttod for lived for and died for!
Moreover, sin is not just a personal matter of piety, it is also systemic and a matter of national importance. We must preach it as it is. Isreal sinned not just one or two people, and the whole nation was punished. Likewise God is looking for a church without spot or winkle, that is communal as well. There is corporate judgement. The church is negating these truths and until we begin counteracting theese evils we will remain IRELEVANT.
I'm sorry friend but honesty ain't in to soothing itching ears or hurting ego's and I know it hurts your heart as it does mine to face that fact that as a whole we've settled for being irelevant. Yes it's still a place where people can go to be healed, but that ain't our calling. God wants us to immitate Christ and He made folks WHOLE. We're living and operating subpar, I agree with you, but for more reasons than just personal piety issues. We ain't even got the right to vote, schools are becoming segregated again here in Nashville, gentrification is a global phenomenom, racism and poverty persist, colonialism is still the order of the day, hate has taken up residency in the church (we know we hate our gay brothers and sisters), and sick folks can't even see a doctor cause there's no universal healthcare! How in the world are we relevant, we are not meeting the needs of people (definition of ministry) we are not much better than a fraternity... we might be worse off! (Roo to the Ques) Check out my preceeding comment and then get back at me.
Since when were we told too politic, The reason the social ills are prevelant is that we the Church have forgotten our place in society. The Church is the most relevant factor in the Earth, not the World. We are too be seperate, not equal with the rudiments of this world. The Soul that sinneth it shall surely die. Not worried about the sin that is in another when we have sin too clear out of our own. Don't believe in personnal piety.

As an individual, and father my family and I have a ministry with the homeless, no church funding, nor government grants, but rather looked upon by the so-called church as crazy and quite often irrelevant. But while we sit and see the body as a whole being irrelevant, we as the individuals become irrelevant. If every Christian would perform their service toward God and their fellow man, then would we tackle racism, homelessness, healthcare and the like. You know " the Government shall be upon his shoulders, and shoulders are apaprt of the body.

Why should we need the right too vote, what has that gotten us, speaking about black folks, we are killing each other, robbing, raping stealing, maiming etc.... So what if the schools are segregated closed down etc....
If God be for you then who can stand against you. We will not ever change the world but if we could just work out our own soul salvation we would do a good thing. you speak of schooling, I have been blessed too send my Children too Christian Schools, and have been even in my own congregation thinking that i am better, or wrong because we should all be doing the same thing, WHY? I play a song by Youngblood and the new Gospel seekers
We have tried dope, being somebody, having dreams that are ultimately crushed, pimpin, pandering, pan handlin', beggging, lying, stealing and everything else and none of it has worked/nor will it.

2 Chronicles 7:14( If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
We must begin to forsake all in order to follow Christ as his disciples, I am sure you know what his response was too the statement " we have left all too follow you"
However we perceive, and do not surrender, nor do we totally trust, we have to stop trying too follow God, and all the while depend on the rudiments of this world;

As far as anyone elses Church I don't know. But I do know the CHURCHthat is rooted in CHRIST it shall always be relevant.
How can one who is of a reprobated mind/lifestyle be considered as a brother/sister, God left them alone so should we. Then they may be saved from hellfire and damnation, if not we are only pacifying sin. Get rid of it don't touch it leave it alone/ reason being Spirits have a way of taking over some weak souls, so when the young start too think that being homosexual is alright, you can't change their mind, for you have been excepting it for so long.
No-one is hating just saying that it is past sin it is down-right an abomination before God, and you'll tell me it's supposed to be loved and held in regard.

If you are not meeting the needs of people, then check that, but too put the CHURCH as a whole in the same class is wrong, there are many members yet one body. AND IF THE SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING FIND ANOTHER MEANS/ THE WORLD AND THEY THAT FOLLOW AFTER SHALL ALL FAIL/ BUT HE THAT IS ROOTED IN CHRIST SHALL BE TRIED, TESTED, MOCKED, SCORNED ABUSED, DISCREDITED BUT HE SHALL NEVER FAIL.

gotta gofor now, traveling too Belle Glades, talk too you tomorrow or some other time.
with much love and respect, MINISTER WEST
Wow, Why do you have a picture of King up? You and him hold vastly juxtaposed positions. The God of scripture is immensley concerned with people and there woes, )it is the cries of the Israelites that made God seek out Moses via a burning bush), and with politics or governance. Much of the Pentetuach is law. God is concerned about law. I keep saying that the church at large as we are acting in the world is irelevant because we are trying to be SEPERATE. God does not want us to be seperate He ain't seperate from the world. Oh I feel my advent sermon comming on, This is why He came to us in a way inwhich we could understand. And While here He healed the hurting, and fed the hungry and made these types of actions pre-requsites for kingdom entrance! (Read Mt 25) Since most of us are not doing that we need to admit it and start figuring how to be relevant.
So then, how do we ignite the same fire you have that makes you care for the least of these into some of your fellow parishoners? That's the real question. You've already admitted (whether you will or not) that the church is functioning below her potential!

As far as your views on abandoning people go, whew that's a tough one ask the Lord about it in your heart man and then get back to me on that one. I believe that's warranted sometimes but not often. We can't call who's reprobate or not. Look at the parable of the wheat and tares. Lastly, I get so sick of us being bamboozled by the political right wing, Lord have mercy WAKE UP. They mixed politics and religion and gave us a burning Bush, one who left half the Midlle East burning from bombs and our pockets burning on empty! WAKE UP. Gays ain't a problem that effects us as Blacks pandemically AIDS is, unemployment is. Do you know some gays trying to get married? I don't I bet nobody on the site does, it ain't our issue. It's a rich white issue concerning how they can get tax credits and pass down property. These are civil issues, civil rights. Yes they are! You ought to really investigate some stuff about this homosexual quandry of yours. Let me suggest this book by 2 scholars one arguing for and the other against gays but both are from scriptoral positions. It's called The Bible and Homosexuality: Two Views. One of the authors is named Ganon I believe. Since the matter is soooo grave to you, please be up on the issues. Might I also suggest Marvin McMickle's book Where Have All The Prophets gone as well. You'll love that book. As a preacher you owe it to the Lord and His folks to feed them! And because the folk belong to the Lord, you better feed them the top of the line stuff, not that Mickey D's, Captain D's junk. So read up! Preachers are like chefs. We shop by reading so I've just given you some major ingredients to facilitate your cooking.
God did not integrate the children of Israel with Egypt, yet he did send Moses with a word to the Egyptians(Pharoah) "let my people go". The children of Israel were the ones who longed for Egypt (the world) and what they had back there.

How can you state that we are not to be seperate from the world when we have been called out of it.
The ones whom Jesus did for came toJesus most of the time. He did not come for he that was whole rather for the broken and the lost. The God in-which we serve is at odds with the world. The world does not take care of it's own, we as the Church do. The world looks for committees to seek out what the problem is, and then look for a solution and never find it, the Church has the solution too the problem, because it already knows the problem/And have been made aquainted with the solution. JESUS SAVES,HEALS AND DELIVERS.

Please tell me my brother, where can I learn of a Politicin' Jesus? Where do we find Jesus as the friend of Kings and Governors?
The Church in respect to what you are saying becomes irrelevant when we seek these avenues of politics, and the likes, Please note Paul after speaking with King Agrippa was told "YOU ALMOST PERSUADEST ME TO BE A CHRISTIAN" almost not yes I surrender.

You say that I desecrate the legacy of Dr. King, Don't miss this!!!
Dr. King was readying for another march on Washington, but this march was not on civil rights, noted by it being called a (POOR PEOPLES CAMPAIGN) Dr. King did not preach in the manner of being black , nor only to black people, his message for the most part was heard by all. Though rejected by many, he kept his hands to the plow. One thing that I hold too my heart dearly is (LOVING MY NEIGHBOR AS MYSELF) The way too get others to do it i don't know. But then again i will not be Judged for what others do not do.

My friend I knowof several homosexual people who would like too be joined together, makes me no never mind. Some things are better when left alone and not bothered. A reprobated mind is one that is against God, of some other persuasion. I personally do not see the need to touch.
You do alot of reading it seems, have you read the purpose driven life? I haven't, But as far as talking about the President and what he stands for, DOESN'T HE HAVE A PURPOSE?

Gays effect our SOCIETY,and our COMMUNITIES, Gays are the reason for AIDS, The first knon reported case was from that of an homosexual. As far as researching such things I'll leave that too the wordly scholars. Epedimics, wars pandemics, whatever you want to call them are all just a
'SIGN OF THE TIMES" What can we do to change it, the world and they that are in can't change it, so who are you or I to change it.
My brother the cause for LOT"S wife to turn and look back wasn't curiosity it was friendship with the world.
Since when are we to be so civic minded, we ought to be able to go on from elementery teachings, and on to maturuty. I am not concerned with commentaries and opinions on who is right or wrong, or how to conduct myself with all of these unconcerned people. The Church is the only relevant thing in this World, and it is because it is not worldly. As I stated about the seven churches of Revelation/ All of them had specific issues, coming from worldly people which entered in, yet all seven were given promises, which were only to those who OVERCOME. Yes I may be in the world but certainly not of it.
Chef's by the way cook by being able too read/follow the recipe'/ AND THEN AGAIN MANY TIMES THEY WRITE THEIR OWN.
Read Matthew the 23rd. chapter it i believe speaks to the irrelevant as do the Beatitudes
Many of the things that Jesus did had immense political import. To expedite time let me sum it all up by saying that His consciencess decision to go to Jerusalem and minister there in the heart of political power in the region best underscores that. Moreover, the Jews turned Him over to Rome as a.... yep political prisoner. At any rate, I am not intending to argue with you. I hear your oppinion, I know it back and foward. I like it and I agree, I am only expounding on it. I believe the church should be relevant for the same reasons you do. You say we have the answer I say so too, but we have it hidden under a bushel. We must tell the world how Jesus is the answer! And then show them He is the answer. His sacrificial death is our rubric for ministry. It is incumbant on us to give our lives to the cause of others, in other words, forsake ourlives for the good of other. We do this not by litterally taking on Rome and her cross, but by combating the modern evils of empire and wrongdoing. By working to reflect and show God's love to everyone!
Now I know up to this point you're feeling me, we're speaking the same lingo. So it is here I need to raise the question: What does love really prompt us to do? Consider this in terms of homelessness, poverty, sickness, and disease, the fact that the government puts additives in our food which make us addicts, swell us up and make us sick.
No I am not saying partner with Bush and them. I have said the opposite, the church must become civicly minded because otherwise who will speak for the voiceless,the least of theese?
We can not be so heavenly focused that we are no earthly good. Remember what happened to the disciples in Acts after the ascension? They were cloud gazing and had to be quickened into service and action... what a picture of the church. In closing we can not just preach to folks and convert them, we must do that, but we must also make them whole, fix what had them in a fix. (I ain't just talkin about sin, for 1 we can't forgive sin and 2 the sins that have folk bound are systemic sins which we can fix with the aide of the Holy Spirit.)
You speak of politics, and the likes. We are not asked too take on anything in this world yet we are told/ shown how to overcome,endure if you will. Join a political party or run for office . Love prompts us too do for the less fortunate of our society. You and others speak of the Church alot of times in racially divided tones. One real problem that persists in the body of Christ, is that we have divisions amongst ourselves.

Please answer where in the Word of God do you get a Black white, oriental, hispanic Church?
You speak of telling and then showing something. I say we should be showing while telling,the early Church has great examoles of such. Also after they stopped gazing, and got along with their duties, Many a miraculous things happened.

To answer your ? of what love prompts us too do for the least of these. I say Heal, Deliver, Feed, House, Comfort, Visit. Being civicly minded will not lead us too doing such things, rather it will keep people sitting on the side and begging. There has not been and never will be a civic organization that will deliver all that we need. Yet there is a way too get it too the masses, and in fact it is the only way.
One cannot truly show Christ through education and the likes. the only way too show Christ and all of his Glory is too Know him, follow him and obey. If you don't understand I am speaking of The Holy Ghost.

The people whom claim too know alot and can speak so eloquently, and precise rarely possess any power. They tend too ask more questions, and add more confusion than most. If a man/woman cannot resist temtations in their lives, nor can they show others how too. An in-depth study of Matthew the 23rd chapter would do many some good.
Understand this, 4-12 years of schooling will never ever compare too 4-12 years of leaning and depending. Not knocking it, But failure, short-comings, mistakes, and the likes are our greatest teachers.
We must begin too llet God be our all in order too reach all, People need to acknowledge, that wih all that one seems to possess, they have nothing but God.
I do not believe you know my opinion, for i honestly do not have one, but I do have love for my fellow man. And the Love that I have does not get bogged down with the cares of this world, yet I am concerned. All that i am saying is
I feel you, again I say we are not as varied in sentiment as we may have first perceived. I agree the church should be the church, where we vary is in how that should happen. Yes we should be showing and telling. I believe we as a church are to be counter-cultural in otherwords different from the world. (We agree here) We are also to be overcomers! (we agree here) I am sugggesting that we should overcome by love, and loving enough to challenge and change the systemic sins which befail people and allow the god of this age to veil people's eyes. We could bring about this new way of existing in the world by catering to the needs of the least of these on our own, yes but as evangelists we also have to take the gospel to the very threshholds of power as Paul did. While he failed we may prevail, and if we fail we will still be succesful to die is gain right?
Furthermore, I believe it is the churches job and responsibility to tell the world that people need to treated properly because we are made in God's image, Jesus died for us, and God became one of us! I'm sorry, I will convey this truth by any means necessary even and especially if it means being socially minded. There is no seperation of church and state we will either be the church and concerned about the totality of a person or we will not be the church. Jesus healed the physical body, met physical needs and met spiritual needs. He made folks whole. We must do likewise. ( I don't feel we disagree to much) Until we do better by meeting these needs I will regrettably say that the church is well...... irelevant. Nah that may be harsh. How about sub-par.

As far as this education thing..... come on man get off of it! So you didn't and I am so what? Even as a student I've had failures and mistakes and shortcomings! Even no especially as a student I have had to lean and depend on the Lord. You speak presumptously on these matters. I have the mighty burning of the Holy Spirit, I also am seeking the learning to go with it. Just as you ask God to reveal the deep things of the WOrd with you, I do too and I also ask Him for guidance in my studies.
I do think I am better than anyone because I went to school. I feel as though I have become a better minister and a better Christian than I was before school though. We all have different lanes, and different journeys. I am thankful for mines and I'm just trying to bloom where I'm planted and remain in my lane! I ain't even peeking in yours cause I couldn't understand it. I am sure the Master Sculpter has crafted you justly according to the material you are, as He is doing with me. For me He uses divinity school, professors, mentors, pastors, church mothers, a praying momma, godly grandparents, a father who pastors, a devoted companion, a zealous sister, and a hoast of other folks to chissel me continually into some work of art. A masterpiece though not a masterpiece due to any intrinsic good of my own but because my finished product looks like the Sculpter.


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