Each generation seeks to undo the faults of the previous one. Sitting in a class Monday, we talked about previous forms of evangelism. Some sounded archaic and childish, others sounded legitimately blasphemous. Each iteration had tried hard to make a presentation relevant to the culture, but many times neglected any actual truth.
Welcome to many of our churches today.
Our churches have wasted the Gospel away in trivial attempts to shuffle people into the doors. Discipleship got replaced with dissipation, worship got replaced with entertainment, community got replaced with fellowship and investment got replaced with passiveness. The Gospel effectively got neutered, watered down and palatable in a world that so desperately needs freedom.
We are a culture obsessed with comfort and wellness. Nobody wants to hear a good news presentation where everything must change. That hardly seems like good news. However, the Gospel demands everything, not just the comfortable. We were sent out to share this news.
The truth is simple. God saved me, despite me, through Jesus.
We share the Gospel and God saves the people. Our repackaged and relevant Gospel is no more likely to save anybody - if anything it only diverts people into following a false pretense. The more relevant we try to make it, the less true it becomes.
Therein lies the problem with relevancy. Eventually, it becomes irrelevant.
And the cycle continues. The next generation will look at ours in disgust at the tactics, attitudes, songs and styles all done for the sake of relevance and will spend the entirety of their time of earth apologizing and breaking down walls built by their forefathers.
The Gospel will never be irrelevant on its own, but what we do to repackage it to fit our specific needs will always be contrary to the truth.
Know the Gospel and share it.