How can we make Christianity more relevant? Should we wear geeky-chic glasses and metro-sexual clothing? Stop believing in Hell? Carry skinny Bibles? Have coffee shops in our lobbies and lasers in our services? Preach sermons from an iPad? This is all window dressing (except the part about Hell), but what substantive things can we do?
I think we can learn something about relevance from Google. A TV exposé a few years ago profiled how Google uses algorithms to track, 1) Perceived importance, and 2) Connectivity of the sites it ranks. Perceived importance is the brand power–the reputation–that a business, organization, etc. brings to the web. Connectivity is a measure of the number of other sites to which the particular site is connected–more is better for higher browser ranking.
We can apply these two aspects to the relevance of Christianity. How is our ‘brand’ doing versus that of competing belief systems? What does it mean for Christians to be connected and are we doing it?
We’ll unpack these next time.