October 23, 2006

My Quest to Understand the Meaning of 'Relevant'

I thought I knew what it meant - and maybe I really do know what relevance means and I'm just over-analyzing it now. Webster's online defines it as:

Main Entry: rel·e·vant
Pronunciation: 're-l&-v&nt
Function: adjective
1 : tending logically to prove or disprove a fact of consequence or to make the fact more or less probable and thereby aiding the trier of fact in making a decision ; also : having a bearing on or reasonably calculated to lead to a matter that bears on any issue in a case for purposes of pretrial discovery
2 : having significant and demonstrable bearing on facts or issues

The second part of the definition is helpful in asking of women's ministries, are you having a significant and demonstrable impact on the women in your ministry? You probably are in many respects, but in other ways, reassessment is in order.

What women aren't attending your studies and conferences? What opportunities are you making available for different kinds of women to attend? What are you discussing?

Women are being faced with a wide variety of complicated issues in our culture today. It is interesting to me that organizations like NOW are able to draw the attention of women on issues that the evangelical church spends little time talking with their own about - reproductive "rights."

Keep asking yourself where the young women are, why they aren't involved in your church women's groups. Keep asking yourself where the working women are, why they aren't at your Wednesday morning Bible studies. Keep asking yourself where the divorced women and women who have had abortions are. Keep asking yourself why everyone at that table in your women's groups looks the same - inside and out.

And then ask yourself if you are truly relevant to today's woman.

1 comment:

Collin Brendemuehl said...

Keep asking yourself ...
... why Grace is so easily dismissed in relationships with the hurting.
... why maintaining stucture and format is more important than relationships.
... why one's ideas of orthodoxy might actually be outside of orthodox living (given the above issues).