Friday, 15 August 2014

Am I Relevant?

Proverbs 26:6 He that sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off the feet, and drinks damage.

       Why are you resigning from teaching in the Bible college? "I am no longer relevant to the new wave of student," I said, in response to her question. "What do you mean by relevant? You are relevant to me," she said. "Yes, I am relevant as a person, father, husband and friend but not as a teacher teaching in this old way for these times. I am still using an older method of teaching. I am still explaining and drawing on blackboards and handing out papers with expectations of participation in the class." 
      I would look up from my notes and all I could see were students looking down at their communication devices and I had no idea if they were learning anything or even listening. I realized that I was no longer relevant to the modern bible college student and I had to act on this knowledge before I became a fool with a non-message with nothing to say. 
      We must be people who know the times we are ministering in or at least be relevant to the times, or we will become the old fool there is no fool like. 1 Chro. 12:32a And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.
      I remember this conversation like it was yesterday. I remember arriving at that place of mind and wondering if I was relevant to the Kingdom of God in that place and time. I was teaching the same old things in the same old ways. I started noticing a lot of the older Pastors, church-itineraries and TV ministry's doing the same old thing. There were a lot of people in the pulpits with nothing to say. 
      There were words coming from their lips and TV screens but it was just bland regurgitated pablum coming out of these old systems and I did not want to be another minister with nothing to say. It was time to shut it down and relearn how to communicate to the new generation of app-specialists. I needed to learn how to teach all over again. Luke 12:12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
      There is nothing more pitiful and embarrassing than watching some old TV evangelist using the same old methods from the nineteen-seventies to prod this new and gadget-driven generation into becoming Christians and also a supporter of the TV ministry making the rehearsed plea. The new communicators who have a vibrant and grace-filled message are leading the way in churches today because they have something to say. 
      Jesus is Lord and He still saves from sin, and heals, provides and blesses the people of the earth because God loves the people in the world. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Somehow these communicators and ministries have downloaded from the Holy Spirit an inspired word of God's love and grace that is hitting the hearts of a new generation of saints. Isa. 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
     How do we remain relevant to the move of God in this day? We know that God wants us to bear fruit in old age. Psalm 92:14 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. 15 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing. So, it looks like we do not have to worry about ministry retirement as we get older. We can remain relevant to the body of Christ and in our Christian lives. 
      We progress in relevance when we press into what God is saying and we act on it by faith. Isa. 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. We are relevant to the church-body when we renew our minds in the word of God and from that heart's position become a hand extended in the Kingdom of our Lord. Eph. 4:3 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 5 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. We continue to be relevant when we hear the word of God and do it as faithful ambassadors in His Kingdom. Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
      I believe I did relearn how to become a better teacher and communicator to the generation that has suckled off of an air of entitlement. The millennial generation who cannot live without granite countertops. Generation X and Y who are continually looking for identity participating in everything extreme. We will have to communicate a real testimony to this group of people and that will be a time of real relevance for us all. 
      I did not resign teaching to quit reaching out. I retooled my teaching skills to reach out and capture the hearts of a generation that God loves and Jesus died for. The mandate of the Lord has not changed. Mark 16:15 And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. However, the methods of fulfilling this mandate have changed and we must align our hearts with what God is doing. Don't be afraid to try something newly God inspired, because there is mercy for us all. Lam. 3:22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

4 comments:

  1. As I read this piece, I thought of the beloved Billy Graham, who somehow kept himself relevant while always preaching the gospel. I thought of my favorite pastor who turned off the elderly in the congregation by wearing funky clothes and using an I-pad in church to preach the gospel! It's all in the hearts that are willing to receive. I agree that some require a certain package, maybe the younger "granite counter top" fans. :) I don't know-I find you very helpful and I enjoy being your "student" very much. God bless!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words miss Jami. You are a blessing to me and I enjoy teaching you in the word of our Lord. You are a good student. Blessings

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    2. I agree with you that Billy Graham did stay on message and there are a lot of good old ministries still powerfully relevant, but that is because they have stayed in tune with the leading of the Lord. I was referring to and maybe should have clarified it more that the TV evangelist who spends twenty two minutes of a thirty minute program soliciting support with gimmicks and pleadings that, "If we the people do not send in something they will be forced off the air." I often think that it might be time to get off the air until they get some fresh anointed sermons and clear direction as to what the Lord is saying. I am trying to word this without judgment or assassination of character because these old ministers were once in tune with what the Holy Spirit was saying, but they started trusting in the system or (shtick) of stirring up the guilt emotions for support. I do believe in giving to ministry, and I do, because many of these saints have sacrificed a lot for the call in their lives. My heart is saying if I have become irrelevant at a particular space and time then I should get out of the way until I am relevant to expanding the kingdom of God because I got a fresh anointing of direction. Blessings miss Jami.

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  2. Agreed. One should always follow the heart, which is God, and not the people. I'm actually not a big tv evangelist follower. I like simple preachers mostly. Just bring the Word! I don't care how it's packaged as long as it's Truth, anointed by God, and like you, following His lead! Many blessings to you for all the work you do. Thank you!

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