In the last few weeks our creative team was on fire with exciting ideas. We went from a stale smell, strangely akin to granny’s house, to a fresh morning aroma coming from a New York bakery. We felt liberated, rejuvenated and, dare I say, a little cool. See, we were planning services with songs and bands so current they were featured the same week on SNL. We even played a video from Facebook that aired the Friday before our Sunday service. It all worked beautifully!
Then this weekend happened. The once quiet moaning and doubts expressed by our more mature team members became a deafening confirmation; we had crossed the line.
We were too current to be relevant.
This week we tried to use Twitter as a means to express how we interact in marriage. It seemed like a great idea! We asked questions like “Are our marriages ‘trending’ in the right direction?” or “If our marriages had a hashtag, what would it be?”
About a minute into the service, the wheels on this bus stopped going round and round.
When we tried to get people tweeting during the live service I knew we were in for a rough ride. Out of hundreds of people, only three tweeted. This was the first sign our crowd wasn’t aware of what Twitter was — I am sure they had heard about it, but it soon became apparent that they had NO idea what a tweet was, a hashtag meant or what we were trying to do. No one laughed; no one got it.
A metaphor is only useful if everyone knows what you are talking about. It’s pointless to use a fishing metaphor with a Bedouin in the middle of the desert.
We missed the mark big time. But it gave us pause to wonder: What is the balance of “current-ness” and “relevant-ness”? Where is the line?
It won’t be the same in every church or service. Before getting carried away with a great idea, let us ask the question: Are we too current to be relevant?
Sloan Inns is a filmmaker for Keystone Community Church and for Boy Meets Girl Visuals. In addition to filmmaking, Sloan leads worship and is constantly explaining that his accent comes from South Africa, not Australia. You can find more of his work on his Vimeo Channel.