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A recent book on the missional church argues that we need to "reinvent the church" in "revolutionary" ways so that we can "incarnate the gospel within a specific cultural context."

I found one example of such a church on the Internet, a congregation in Florida whose very name is Relevant.

Relevant is a casual, contemporary, Christian church meeting at the Italian Club in Ybor City, Florida. Our service is designed specifically for college students, urban professionals and young families. At Relevant, we feel that it's our responsibility to "clear the way" for you to come to church. We want you to be able to experience the great music, encouraging messages, friendly people and enjoyable atmosphere that are a part of Relevant.

The church recently made a media splash with its "30-Day Sex Challenge," encouraging marrieds to have sex every day for a month—a reverse Lenten discipline, I suppose. This church, like many others, is no doubt making a difference in the lives of "urban professionals" and "young families" in large part because it appears to be relevant.

Put the liturgical church in this context, and it's easy to see why liturgy is a stumbling block to many. We've recently featured in CT's pages a story about evangelicals who are attracted to liturgical worship, but in the context of American youth culture, many wonder why. The worship leaders wear medieval robes and guide the congregation through a ritual that is anything but spontaneous; they lead music that is hundreds of years old; they say prayers that are scripted and formal; the homily is based on a 2,000-year-old book; and the high point of the service is taken up with eating the flesh and drinking the blood of a Rabbi executed in Israel when it was under Roman ...

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May 2008

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