“I am telling you all this because I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. That is the way Jesus came to reveal God’s love. The great message that we have to carry, as ministers of God’s Word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life.” In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen
The definition of irrelevant is “not relevant”. From Merriam-Webster the definition of relevant is:
- having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand
- affording evidence tending to prove or disprove the matter at issue or under discussion relevant testimony
- having social relevance
If you’ve been wondering why there have been no posts lately it is due to my wrestling with the quote above. Almost every adult wants to relevant in some way to someone. I certainly do. We want to matter and that’s where the struggle begins.
We have a washing machine that needs to be fixed. We have the part and I’ve watched the repair being done on YouTube. I’m confident that I can do the repair and know that I’ll feel very relevant when the repair is completed. The issue is that I’m tempted to connect my worth to my ability to fix things. You may find your sense of worth in something different.
I think it is God’s desire for us that we use the gifts and talents he has given us to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, we are not satisfied with that. Chapters 12 through 14 of 1 Corinthians were written to address the temptation that we all face. Whatever our ability, we want to think it is superior to another’s. Worse is when we begin to think that our ability and our use of that ability is bringing us greater favor and blessing from God. As soon as we begin to think this Satan has won, pride replaces humility, and love disappears.
All I have to offer to a world in desperate need of salvation is a resurrected Savior. Everything I have, whether it be stuff or ability comes from God. Any relevance I have comes from God and should result in making him more visible. The leaders to follow are those that love God and others from a humble recognition of God’s grace.