A few years ago, I began noticing a trend in church liturgy among Western Christianity. I tend to describe it as pop culture pragmatism. In an effort to be relevant to a younger technologically driven generation, many churches and their staff members underwent makeovers. Church services took on the flavor of a mini-rock concert with a cool little message tucked in. Pulpits were now equipped with trendy furniture from IKEA, the attire of the pastor and other leaders consisted of screen print tees and trendy jeans, bottles of hair gel were obviously en vogue, and some of the the worship teams looked more like a glam-rock throwback or something along lines of metrosexuality. I’m serious. Sermons were no longer expositional, convicting and Christocentric. Instead, the sermon was reduced to quaint little talks about God peppered with the latest slang. I’m serious. This is a horrible attempt at relevancy. It was highly irrelevant!
Pragmatism is simply using certain means to reach certain ends. It’s a “whatever works” philosophy. So on one hand pragmatism is not necessarily wrong, but the context must be understood to see when it is wrong. When it comes to matters of the Christian faith, pragmatism is referenced as a departure from God’s means to reach God’s ends and instead utilizing other means (whatever works) to reach God’s ends. These other means always appeal to the flesh and the temporal, which is why a pragmatic approach to ministry is ultimately evidence of a lack of faith in God, His Word and pride. It simply fails to get to the heart of man’s issue – his sin and rebellion against God. The church doesn’t need to put on a new outfit every time the trends of culture changes in order to be effective and relevant.
Relevant churches are churches that unashamedly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the whole counsel of Scripture trusting God will accomplish His means through the power of the Holy Spirit.
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,…… (Romans 1:16)
Grace & Peace,