Church relevance used to mean that the church related to those they ministered to. It seems as though today, that is not always the case. As I observe American Christianity, I see a vast majority of churches grasping to be relevant. Relevance today seems to mean that a church is on the cutting edge of the technology wave, has the latest design trend or has the best style of music.
But could this ‘relevance’ be backfiring?
I recently read a post on www.churchrelevance.com that ‘varying chair colors’ to make the church seem cozier and fuller. As I read the article, I could hardly believe what I was reading. I fail to see why interior design should be the focal point of an auditorium. HEAR ME, I am not saying that a sanctuary should not be beautiful. However, the idea of implementing a design to give the auditorium a ‘fuller’ feel does not sit right with me. Not only does it seem foolish, but I really don’t think it will receive the desired effect. (If the auditorium seems full, people will not enter)
To me this is just a foolish idea and it poses many interesting questions like:
- Why do we need the sanctuary to ‘feel fuller’?
- Is that just so we can feel better about the service we are doing?
- Is this just a way to account for our failure to be the church God designed?
My questions may seem a little harsh, but I think they are valid. What exactly are we trying to accomplish by making the auditorium seem ‘fuller’? As I said in my reply to that article: “If we have to compensate for a lack of attendance by creating an optical illusion to make it ‘fuller’, than we went wrong somewhere before the design of the sanctuary.”
That is the problem with a lot of the current ‘church relevance’ push taking place. It is more of a focus on the individual rather than getting a biblically accurate message across. The unfortunate price of a lot of the ‘relevance’ taking place is that it occurs at the sacrifice of a pure gospel. We clutter the message with all of our gadets and designs which really do not aid us but seem to only make us more comfortable with our ministry. No wonder the outside world is so confused when they look at us; our priorities are off of our message and on to our comfortability.
What do you think? Have we sacrificed a pure gospel for the sake of comfort?