There is, first of all, a distinct difference between relevant and relatable. Relevant strives to be able to connect with someone concerning a particular issue. It’s desire is not to alter the issue, but to create an effective way of communicating it to a person.
A definition of ‘relatable’ is to establish a social or sympathetic relationship with a person or thing. To develop a sympathetic relationship would be to alter the issue to ‘sympathize’ with a persons individual worldview or belief system.
The danger in striving to widely communicate the message of Jesus Christ is that we progress from relevant to relatable. It is because we so passionately want people to connect with Jesus, who gives life, that we are willing to become inclusivistic and will adjust our faith to fit the lives of all we encounter instead of encouraging the life giving change that Jesus proclaimed was possible with a relationship with Him.
For some spiritual leaders and pastors neither the relatable OR relevant church are accepted. This is because they cannot see that there is in fact a difference. In this case very little impact is made and very few NEW relationships with Christ are formed because not only is there little to no effort to communicate the message, even worse, the method of communication is half a century old.
If you know me you know that I absolutely hate spiritual cliche’s because it reveals to me that the person speaking the cliche has put little to no thought into what they’re saying. They’re simply repeating a repeatable phrase because it’s an easy answer to a question which is often more complicated than the solution the cliche answer provides. One cliche that particularly annoys me to hear is, “The methods may change but the message stays the same”. Is it true? Yes. Why do I hate it if it’s true?
Because a majority of the time the person saying it is completely unwilling to be open to a relevant church for fear that it will become relatable church.
Don’t fear the evolution of methodological change. Embrace the life changing relevant message of Christ as your foundation and you’ll never fear the relatable.