Ah, relevance. That holy grail of pastoral ministry. The relevant pastor is up on the latest movies, in on the latest trends, and speaks the language of the streets. He brings life to every party and puts a smile on every face. People can relate to a relevant pastor…because he’s relevant. See how that works?
But how can you grow in relevance? How can you change from being “Mr. Boring Pastor” to “Mr. Kick Butt and Take Names Because I’m So Relevant Pastor”?
Let me give you a few suggestions.
1. GET A TATTOO OR PIERCING
One week you’re a plain, middle-aged, accountant-like pastor who wears dockers and makes out like a bandit at J.C. Penney sales. You like preaching from the genealogies at the beginning of 1 Chronicles. You prefer singing hymns with no accompaniment. Then you get a tribal tattoo snaking up your arm and metal studs in your ears. Suddenly, you’re a brash, hip, relevant pastor who could also be the lead singer of the “Dropkick Murphy’s”. Now you preach from the Song of Solomon and create clever sermon titles like “Fifty Sheets of Grace”. The only downside to this option is your monthly hair gel expense triples.
2. INCREASE YOUR MOVIE TO BIBLE REFERENCES IN YOUR SERMON
A sermon on the Beatitudes is great. A sermon on the Beatitudes that also includes a complete dissection of Breaking Bad, the phrase, “Jedi mind tricks,” and a complete recreation of the fight scene in A Princess Bride is really, really relevant. If you really want to be relevant, only reference obscure documentaries that nobody has seen. That’s the inverse law of movie relevance. The more obscure the movie, the more relevant you become. To ensure maximum relevance, only watch documentaries that have been given 1 star on Netflix.
3. SIP SHADE GROWN COFFEE OUT OF A MASON JAR
A truly relevant pastor creatively repurposes things, such as Mason jars. Why drink coffee out of a mug designed specifically for coffee when you can drink out of a jar that was intended to hold canned vegetables? Why drink from a well insulated coffee mug when you have the option of searing your hand every time you take a sip of coffee? Exactly.
And why use normal priced coffee beans when you can pay double for shade grown beans? That’s another law of relevance. The more expensive something is, the more relevant it is. But this only works up to a point. Wearing a Rolex is not relevant. Wearing nice jeans is relevant. Wearing a powder blue silk track suit is not relevant. You’ll get the hang of this if you stick with it.
4. GIVE YOUR CHURCH A NAME THAT COULD ALSO WORK FOR A SNOWBOARD COMPANY
The name of your church will determine the type of people who come to your church. This principle is spelled out clearly in Proverbs, where it says, “If you build it, they will come.” First Church Of Clarksville attracts those who get excited by a bowl of Raisin Bran. Element Blaze church attracts young people who are on the bleeding edge of fashion, style, and trendiness. The one downside of attracting young people is that they have no money. So plan on doing a lot of fundraising over at First Church of Clarksville.
5. TALK ABOUT A STORY YOU HEARD ON NPR
Science has proven that listening to three minutes of NPR a day increases your relevance factor by 25%. Tread carefully though. Science has also proven that every minute of NPR increases your obnoxious factor by 50%.
If you follow these carefully researched principles of relevance, you will soon become the most relevant pastor on the block. You will be a highly sought after, deeply hip, cool without trying, pastor.
Now, if you’ll excuse, I just seared my hand on a Mason jar.