My notes from this, the first talk in our 40 Days of Ivy DNA Series: RELEVANT.
People are surprised when we as a church are normal rather than ‘religious’
Text – John 4- the samaritan woman at the well.
1) Jesus asked – ‘Will you give me a drink?’ This is a very controversial conversation for him to have at all. He’s showing us the type of Saviour he is. He’s speaking to her in her language, about her every day life and needs. Connects with the familiar.
If we want to be relevant we need to offer and speak into what people need.
Cf Breathe City Church in Stoke- their ‘When‘ ministry: giving clothes to the poor in the city. Thousands of clothing packages given.
When we meet the felt needs of people, we’ll be relevant. We’re not relevant because the worship is great or the preaching is good: people outside of church are not even asking about that anyway!
But if we help people and connect in people in prison, in debt, when we are marked by hospitality, or playing football like our new team IVY COSMOS – it’s great fun AND an opportunity for a conversation. We don’t have to fall into the sacred/secular divide mentality.
Is there someone you can have a chat with over the water?
2) Mountain or Fountain?
The Samaritans and Jews had a lot of theological, intellectual, religious debate about worship places.
The subject isn’t a bad one. There’s a lot in the Bible about mountains – but this is a religious debate that’s really a red herring / smokescreen to get away from the real issue of life: it’s not WHERE you worship, but WHO.
She’s thinking to impress him with her religious knowledge and grasp on current affairs and debate –
But Jesus says, ‘let’s not debate Mountains – I want to talk about Fountains!’
Jesus will change the question.
It’s not about the mountain of religion
It’s about the fountain of relationship.
Her heart was getting filled in all the wrong ways.
It’s not about discussing imponderables till 3am – after that question, along comes another…
come to the fountain!
The churches that are growing are those that are not stuck in religion, and my clever arguments are not going to win people over to Christ. It’s more about making Jesus accessible.
The harvest is plentiful!
Where people are. Go where people are.
Because people are dissatisfied and needing a fountain – of living water.