Spiritual Relevance

There is a Christian culture that is complete with its own language and traditions; and most of lost America has no clue how to connect with or understand us. Christianity is some ancient or foreign ritual that has no relevance in modern culture. But the gospel is relevant to every person in any culture, we just have a public relations problem.

Quotes:

Few people articulate a redemptive message using relational terms. We believe in logic, science, lists, and formulas. God’s doesn’t use any of those. — Donald Miller

Our failure to impact contemporary culture is not because we have not been relevant enough, but because we have not been real enough. — Sally Morenthaler

The test of the vitality of a religion is to be seen in its effect on the culture. — Elton Trueblood

Your life is not your own, it belongs to God. To “be yourself” is not just to be anything you want to be. To “be yourself” is to be and do what God wants you to be and do, knowing that God created you for a mission and knows you and your mission better than you do. — Leonard Sweet

Top 10 Ways to Be Spiritually Relevant:

  1. Filter religious jargon from your language.
  2. Do not filter your authentic spirituality.
  3. Be respectful of other people’s convictions.
  4. Do not hide your own convictions.
  5. Tune in to the felt needs of your culture.
  6. Do not limit your spiritual gifts to the church.
  7. Offer advice, not judgment.
  8. Expect God to work miracles in your workplace.
  9. Do not hide your struggles and failures.
  10. Never move in fear; always move in love.

Cross-Cultural Values

Cross-cultural is not just experiencing another culture overseas or across town. We also desire to embrace the culture of the cross, which may be described in the following 12 values that all believers should embrace…

Cross-Cultural Values: 1 Peter 2:11

We are essentially aliens and strangers in this present world, so we desire to effectively model and communicate the values and cultural norms of the cross (the culture of the cross) rather than of the world (or American culture).

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” 1 Corinthians 2:2

[Values guiding my relationship with my God]

1. Savior-centric

Focusing on Jesus in my internal life and my external communication. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the initiator and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame… Hebrews 12:2-3 – Is Jesus the center of my thoughts and conversations? Do I revolve around Him?

2. Submission

Consistently asking the Master what He wants and then simply doing it. “During the days of Jesus life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” Hebrews 5:7 – Is there anything I am unwilling to do for Him?

3. Sanctification

In his power and for His glory living a life that is “set apart” by His Spirit, according to His character, for His purpose. “it is God’s will that you should be sanctified…” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 – What percentage of my personal life and my ministry are a work of the Spirit?

4. Sacrifice

Continually offering my life to Him as an act of worship. “I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God” Romans 12:1 – Is my whole life a sacrifice or do I see it as specific, intermittent acts?

[Values guiding my relationship with the world]

5. Supplication

In humility sharing my needs with the Father and trusting Him to take care of me. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 – Are all my finances, family, future, health, and other concerns turned over to Him?

6. Satisfaction

Trusting God’s provision in all situations and learning to want what I have. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13 – Am I satisfied with what He is providing for me and do I want what I have?

7. Self-denial

Choosing at my own initiative that which pleases Him rather than what pleases me. “If any man would come after me, first he must deny himself take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 – What am I intentionally and willingly giving up for Him today?

8. Suffering

Joyfully joining in suffering because I know its redemptive value for others and myself. “Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ…” I Peter 4:12-13 – Do I expect to suffer as a Christian? Do I follow Him up to the boundary of suffering and then hold back? Am I upset with Him when I suffer?

[Values guiding my relationship with others]

9. Selfless love

Laying down my life wholly for the benefit of others and expecting nothing in return. “No man has greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 – Do I love when it will not be returned and when it is costly?

10. Sympathy

Allowing my heart and hands to be guided by God’s concern for those in need. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress… If one of you says to him, `Go, I wish you well’, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” James 1:27, 2:16 – Have I become hardened by the overload of needs around me?

11. Saltiness

Developing and sharing a savory (Saviory) flavor in order to influence the stew. “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6 – Is my life salty enough to evoke questions about Him and am I ready to answer?

12. Servant-leadership

Serving others… the motive, the style, and the content of leadership. “the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them… Not so with you.” Matthew 20:25-26 – Am I willing to serve? To be treated as a servant?

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