About five years ago when I entered kids ministry I was dissatisfied with the way things were ran. All I saw were kids in their classrooms memorizing scripture without any kind of real interaction with God – quite frankly the place looked like an after school program rather than a relevant place for kids to meet Jesus. I decided to switch things up. I decided to throw out what was being done, a typical club-format type of program, and try something pretty cutting edge for the time. I was going to introduce kids to Jesus by way of Nickelodeon.
I caught a lot of flak for making such a huge change, but I was committed to the fact that if Jesus was culturally relevant then I am going to be too. Many of the regular church folk decided to pull their kids before the program even started, so the 60 kids we were having on a good night would soon drop to 35-40. I was okay with this, because I knew God had a plan. The first night of camp, we had some huge inflatables and talked about how it is okay to be loud sometimes. We had about 120 kids in attendance. Wow! Since then, we have seen nights where we are trying to accommodate for up to 250 kids – completely crazy!
As most of you know by now, I am transitioning out of this position and will soon be entering a new season in ministry. I will be going to Gracepoint, where that church has caught its own flak about being culturally relevant. I have to admit, even I took a double take once or twice…but through everything the team did, I remember thinking, this is a church, a team, that is sticking to their mission of being a place for those who hate church.
I think being culturally relevant is a good thing. I think God would ask us to be this way. Jesus, as the ultimate teacher, was obviously one of the most innovative people to ever walk the face of the earth, and his message was simple, timeless, and spoke to the souls of everyone. How many churches can say that their message is timeless? I have some thoughts on how churches, modeling after the early church, should be culturally relevant today. Let’s save that for tomorrow!