It's Time For The Church To Stop Being Relevant


On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles) Galatians 2:7-8

So for about three decades, I have been working in ministry. But it's only been about ten of those years that I've worked exclusively with men. And it took me a while to get comfortable speaking with all-male audiences. Not because I don't understand men but because many tried to persuade me to work with or incorporate other groups of people. Like women and teens or just mixed audiences of people. But God kept drawing me and my ministry back to men.

And I have learned a lot about reaching men for Christ over the last decade. For example, that men are easily enticed by things of the world. Men struggle to seek support unless the issue is too much to bear. They don't easily see the need for spiritual relationships with other men. They have trouble understanding theological matters, not because they are stupid, but because they fail to see the day-to-day application. And along the way, as I spoke more and more to men, I learned more and more about the gospel (their sin and the need for salvation). I got better at understanding the unchanging truth of the gospel. But just because I focus my ministry on men, this doesn't infer that I preach a different gospel than I would to women or even to a mixed audience. It's the same gospel presented by me to a particular audience of people — men.

In the same way, Peter and Paul had different focuses. It was one gospel presented by two different men to two different audiences of people. One with foreskin and one without foreskin. And I use the term "foreskin," not just to be funny or to get your attention, but because it's true. The Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 made this decision. That circumcision was an external rite that had no bearing on the gospel of grace. So foreskin or no foreskin, grace was the same for Jews and Gentiles. It was not circumcision of the flesh that saved, but the circumcision of the heart.

In every age, we are going to struggle with these tensions. As people who present the gospel, we are entrusted with this task — to present the gospel as the gospel and only the gospel. But as I say this, one of the most prominent trends in the church over the last few decades has been the attempt at "relevancy." It's the effort to present a more "relevant gospel" that meets with the culture to reach the culture. Yet I propose that the attempt at gospel "relevancy" is no different from the foreskin issue here. It's our generation's attempt to adapt the gospel to meet our needs. And at first glance, it looks appealing, like we are helping lost people to know the gospel. But we are not.

You see, the gospel does not need our help. In fact, if we helped it, we would only screw it up. We were so incapable of helping that God had to send someone else to bring the gospel to bear. And this man, his son, Jesus, did what we could not do—brought the gospel and gave us the gospel message. When we "help" the gospel by making it "relevant," we might actually be making it irreverent and irrelevant! Because the gospel is greater than culture and, by the way, saves us from it.

So gentlemen, be leery of cultural adaptations of the gospel. Some will make futile attempts to soften sin, adapt the message, or accommodate people. They might be human adaptations to something divine, holy, and given by God. They might lead you away to another gospel that is no gospel at all. And remember, the real gospel is hard on sin. This is what calls men out. But the gospel is also hard on grace. This is what makes it good news. Don't be captivated by delusions that make it irreverent and irrelevant.

ASK THIS: What sin is the gospel calling out in your life?

DO THIS: Call out that sin, and call out for grace.

PRAY THIS: God, you and your gospel are all I need.

PLAY THIS:  All My Hope — David Crowder.


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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

It's Time For The Church To Stop Being Relevant

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26 thoughts on “It’s Time For The Church To Stop Being Relevant

  1. Eddie Ackerman says:

    there is a HUGE difference between making the Gospel relevant and making it understood to the audience. I know that when I am explaining the Gospel to a younger crowd, spiritually or physically, I try to use more common words to explain the harder to understand words, but I don’t try to change the message so much as simplify it. Even the apostle Paul had to simplify the message for a church that back slid, but I forget which one, he had to give them spiritual milk instead of spiritual food because they weren’t mature enough to eat solid spiritual food, so he had to give them spiritual milk.

  2. Chaplain J J says:

    Amen, Pastor. We neither add too nor take away from the Word of Father God. If we do, then indeed, it’s not the real Gospel.

  3. Alex Riddle says:

    God is calling out my sin of anger that has driven my wife and child away. I also need continued victory over online sexual temptation.

  4. Paul L says:

    Each time I pick up scripture I am looking to anchor myself to TRUTH before I go about my day. Before I was saved and found a bible-centered church I accepted ways that scripture was presented to me and twisted to be made relevant to the situations I found myself in. Today when I read scripture I remind myself WHO was the author of that book and WHO was the intended audience to understand its message and content. ON another note the book of James was so helpful for me to clearly understand Christian behavior and identify hypocrisy while still being heavy on grace.
    I’m very grateful that God led me to your men’s ministry, Vince, it has been awesome to grow in spirt under your pastoral guidance.

  5. Don says:

    This was good message today. I am having a difficult time tight now, I like to things myself, fix my cars, household tasks, etc going through a time now where things are not working out, it seen every task I take l tackel has challenges and things don’t hold right, and these are things I have done before. The word that stood out today is grace, I think many men including me have a difficult time with grace, accepting it, understanding it, giving it even to ourselves when we screw up

  6. Ted says:

    As a pastor, this is by far the best teaching/ Devo you have shared. The cry from the modern body is for relevance , yet each step towards relevance is a step away from the reality of Christ life changing work in all of us to be the strangers in this world. Thanks Vince

  7. Tom Fredericks Sr. says:

    Thanks Pastor Vince. Tough words but necessary and liberating to hear. Preach Christ, and Him crucified. Great words of wisdom today! 🙏

  8. Russ Chitwood says:

    Thankyou, God has been calling me out on food addiction and I need his strength to over come it! He is my hope!

  9. Marko says:

    Woohoo!!! What a devotion and what a song! Praise the Lord and may we never dilute the gospel message for it is truth, light, and life!!!

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