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Fewer and fewer people are attending church services. Even fewer are attracted to enter into ministry fulltime. Attending church services is a waste of time and proclaiming the gospel is not worth your life.

The secular world around us proclaims in a loud voice, “We can take care of ourselves. We do not need God, the Church, or a gospel sermon. We are in control. And if we are not in control, then we need to work harder to get ourselves into control.” From the worldly perspective, the problem is not a lack of faith, but a lack of competence. In this secular climate, the gospel has become irrelevant.

But we know that behind the contemporary facade of wealth, success, popularity, and power lies a spiritual bankruptcy that will eventually destroy us if left unchecked. The cry that arises from all the sex, drugs, and violence in our society is this: “Is there anybody who loves me; is there anybody who really cares? Is there anybody who wants to stay home for me? Is there anybody who wants be with me when I am not in control, when I feel like crying? Is there anybody who can hold me and give me a sense of belonging?” The gospel answers these questions.

Perhaps the saddest of all commentaries on our culture is the fact that many of our churches are rapidly becoming secularized themselves. Productivity, efficiency, and cash reserves have become the criteria by which we measure success. By all worldly standards we may be a very successful church; however, are we faithful by the standards that matter to God? That is the question we must constantly ask ourselves.

The world, in its “wisdom,” will always see the gospel as irrelevant. But, we’re not looking to impress Wall Street with our efficient productivity, are we? From a worldly standpoint we have nothing to offer but our vulnerable selves-sinful, broken, and irrelevant. But, the glorious message we proclaim is that God has redeemed us in love. His only question to a broken human family is this: “Do you love me too? Do you really love me?”

The world may see what we do and who we are as irrelevant. But church, let’s always remember that receiving, nurturing, expressing, and sharing God’s love is the true source of all human life. The gospel is misunderstood perhaps but from the perspective of eternity it is never irrelevant!

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