Some people worship best in a contemporary music setting (although contemporary means something different to everyone), some in a traditional setting (although the same applies to that word as well), and some in a blended (same thing). While I have MY preferences, all can be viable when done in a relevant way that exalts a counter-cultural Christ. That’s what Paul did when he went to Athens and preached to them. He did things differently in different places, affirming what was culturally good and specifically calling out cultural idols.
So I have no problems with the words “contemporary” or “relevant,” provided that Christ is the one driving the service, and He is there to be exalted, not simply to entertain us. Different ministry strategies will work better in different places, and I think all ministers need to become students of their surrounding culture. I’ve been instructed to do the same, as Barret, our lead pastor, has done before me.
But sometimes methods can be so relied upon that they take the place of a truly culturally relevant (he can identify with all our situations-Heb 3:14) and yet extremely counter-cultural Christ. Here is a video which parodies what CAN happen WHEN “contemporary” and “relevant” replace Christ. I find it quite humorous and yet sadly spot on in some cases; however, I don’t endorse everything in the video. It is just to get people thinking, and there could be parodies of ALL types of worship experiences. This specific video, which just came across my desk, considers the danger of making contemporary or relevance your main goal. Christ can then take a back seat, but he belongs in front.
A good reminder for those who land on the “contemporary” side of the spectrum.