I was at a NetCast event recently, swapping ideas on how to reach the “dechurched.” A man my age named Jim said in my presence that the church today is by and large, “fundamentally irrelevant” for folks who are still where you used to be.

When I asked for clarification on what he meant, he replied:

Do you thing that the world views what we do in church significant? If
they did they would come to participate. This is a part of the culture
today. The approaches that we have attempted to make ourselves relevant to
un-churched too often pushes people further away.

If this is true, then this is the core issue in revitalizing church in America. True or not, it is at least perceived by some, and therefore something we need to consider, and find a way to overcome.

From the inside, we think we know why church is important to us, and we assume that those who have chosen to stay away are simply mis-informed. But from their perspective, there is no value in them attending, and we are the ones wasting valuable Sunday morning recreation time and draining our bank accounts for that perceived wasted effort.

So as we begin to think like outsiders, perhaps we will begin to understand what they are looking for, and what we should be doing different about the practice (not theology) of our faith to help them feel comfortable coming back to church.

What do you think? Is the church irrelevant? If so, what can we do to make the church became more relevant to others?

c2008, Mike Mitchell, all rights reserved