Cool or effective?
That is a question that a lot of Pastors wrestle with. And how far are we willing to go to be relevant?
I think in my first several years of ministry I was a little further on the side of cool/relevant, but in the last few years and especially in the last year, I am firmly on the effective side of things.
I still feel that relevance and being current is essential, just not at the expense of some other things. I still believe that we should leverage all of the creativity, technology, and the arts to help convey the message of Jesus Christ. I just don't want to do something JUST because it's cool.
Over the last few weeks, I have read a few blogs that have communicated what I have been feeling over the last year or so. I thought I would share a few links with you about this topic. The interesting thing to me, is that all of these blogs are by leaders who have been in it for over 10 years. I'm at the 11 year mark leading Foothills, so maybe that's why these thoughts resonate with me so much. (I'm not sure if it's a maturity thing or a cynicism thing:))
This post and this post by Craig Groeshel were spot on This response by Tim Stevens was amazing, because I don't think it has to be an either or.
And this video by Ed Young Jr. was also great.
For the record, we spend countless hours in creative team meetings every week (and will continue to do so). Hundreds of man-hours go into designing culturally relevant, and effective services. We will use anything and everything (short of sin), to reach people for Christ. I still believe that the church should lead the way in creativity and excellence, but at the end of the day, it's the power of Holy Spirit that really changes lives!