Last weekend my pastor spoke what could be some of the most important words spoken over our church. “Today, is the birth of relevant church!” WAHOOOOO!!!! (Excited much? Yes we are!) A while back (before we even started attending this church) they had decided to change the name. For the last few months I have heard it referred to by the old (Columbus Community Evangelical Church) and the new. Last week though…something changed. You see, God is moving among the people in this little town in PA and He is taking us along for the ride of a lifetime! =D
Sometimes I feel as though we, the church, feel disconnected from Scripture. Not necessarily from the the truth of the Bible…but from the application. We struggle on how we apply our knowledge, both old and new, to our every day. That is my goal. That is the purpose of why I write. I want you to understand that we serve THE GOD. The only God that is living and active. The only God that is…relevant. What a perfect word to name His church!
Relevant. Let’s go over some things that are still relevant today. Let’s look for ways that God proves Himself to still be alive and engaged in our lives.
Prayer. Never have I understood how relevant prayer truly is, until I experienced, first hand, the past year of my life. God has healed me at the prayers of myself, family, friends and church body. God has given me what I cried out for, knowing that I would not recognize it at first. Or even that sometimes I would ask Him “WHY?!” forgetting that it was at my request. *Vanesa thumps head here* God has taken me through the best of times and the worst of times…and helped me to see His plan was always greater. God has helped me counsel the hurting and broken because of what He had already given me victory over. God has helped me to speak life even when death was running rampant. My prayers of compassion and sometimes desperation reached to the heart of God. I will never be the same as I was a little over a year ago. And my pastor’s challenge to grow 2% closer each week for this year…will change me just as much or (as I am praying)…more!
Pastor Les said that the prayer ministries and prayer warriors of ‘the’ church, are the most vital. Prayer is the start of everything else. It is our most intimate time alone with our Father. We can tell Him all. No holding back. Anger. Hurt. Shame. Brokenness. Reality. He wants us to be genuine. And when we are…He will cover over each of those with truth. Simple truth. The darkness of anger will lift. The shattered hurt will begin to heal. The shame will turn to humble growth. The transparent brokenness will allow His power to become evident in your circumstance. And your reality…it will suddenly make sense. No matter what the mountain is that lies before us…blocking our view of victory…we will take each step up to the top with a renewed purpose and passion. And all of this starts with a simple prayer. Talking to God is not difficult. It is a conversation in which you are real and so is HE!
Worship. relevant worship…has a nice ring to it don’t you think? ;) Our worship IS to be relevant. We will always appreciate the things of old. We still love the past…but we refuse to stay stuck in it. We want to always be engaged in what is to come. What is current. Think about it. God is writing new songs each day. He is reaching out to us with new words of life that we can sing to Him. He has not run out of ideas. He never will. The songs they sing in Heaven are relevant. I can’t even begin to imagine how amazing they are. And when they reach the hearts of someone here on earth…that is to be celebrated. Not just on Sunday…but always. Sing to your King anywhere and everywhere! Show Him how much you adore Him because He is absolutely CRAZY about you my friend!!
Let me set up a scenario for you. It happens often to me…and I am sure it happens to SOMEONE out there too! You are driving down the road and you hear a song. It doesn’t have to be the first time you’ve ever heard the song…but maybe it is first time you really listened to it. You are silent. You just sit and listen with fresh ears. The words speak directly to you…way down deep. If you are like me, you silently weep as they minister to you in a very specific way. You know that God wrote that song. You understand that He had you in mind for this exact moment of when you would need and accept it. You sit humbled. Thankful. Inspired. And feeling genuinely loved and adored by your God that is alive and engaged in your day. That…is relevant worship. It will happen more and more. Look for it. Be open to it. Bask in it’s glory and goodness when you feel it wash over you in waves of power. *A chill just ran through my body because these words are going to open up someone’s eyes today. Right now the enemy’s blinders are being peeled away in someone’s life…and the God of all Creation will be seen and praised. His power WILL be life-changing and forever evident.
Faith. Our faith must be relevant in our everyday. The stories of the power of God that we read in the Bible absolutely still serve a powerful purpose. For the mother who’s womb is barren…the story of Sarah gives hope. For the man who feels too weak to fight for what is right…the story of Gideon encourages strength in the name of Jesus. For the thief, the drunk, the liar who feels like he/she is too far gone…the story of the Cross proves that grace is available to all. We are still to learn from these Bible stories. We are still to apply their foundational truths to our daily walk. Just because they are ‘old’ doesn’t mean they are outdated. The Word of God is absolutely relevant. I dare you to try it out. Double dog dare you. Talk to God. Tell Him what you are struggling with. Ask Him to show you His relevancy in His Word. It might be a verse in a devotional that you pick up. It might be a verse on Facebook. It might be a seemingly ‘random’ passage in your Bible. Figure out what it is that God is teaching you…and be sure to praise Him for it. Talk about it. Lead by example and show your friends how He can be relevant in their lives as well.
Here is a thought provoking challenge question from Pastor Les to you…people out there in the world of cyber. ;) “If you were mentioned in the Bible…what would it say about you? Would they even know you were saved according to how you lived your life? Not according to how you act or ‘appear’ on Sunday…but how the rest of the days of the week that end in the word ‘day’ are. Would your name be recorded because of all you did for the Kingdom?”
It is never too late. Today is a new day. Start a new chapter in which you are sold out. Committed. Passionate. Let your faith be evident…not for the cause of being remembered…but for the sake of someone’s eternity. True love as the Father intended it cares more about souls brought to the reality of the Cross, than all of the wealth in the world. World changers. We need world changers who are Christ-driven to rise up.
Speaking of “it’s never too late”…take a moment to listen to a song by a Christian group named Jesus Culture. The song is called Come Away and I feel like it’s message is absolutely relevant to where we are headed. Click here to be inspired and challenged to worship as if you are standing in the Presence of the Almighty. You are. Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." It’s not too late!
Please understand I do not expect you, the reader, to just accept my list as complete. My hope is that you spend time searching for your own relevant applications. I would LOVE to hear how God is showing Himself to be relevant in your life! I know that He is. I believe it with all that I am. If you are not seeing Him…please let me know and I will pray for His revelation to become boldly evident to you. relevant church is praying for those of you out there that are reading this right now. Let us know the fruits of our prayers and/or how we can pray more specifically! After all, we are called to be Christ’s hands and feet!
I leave you with Colossians 1:3-6. “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”
Watch out…relevant church is on the map! ;) relevant church is now alive. It has a heart beat. A heart that beats like it’s Heavenly Father. Curious? You should be!! Come and see what God is doing in a little community in Pennsylvania…that will someday soon have a huge impact on a world that is lost and broken. We believe that God is all together relevant and we are saying… “Why not use us?!”