My friend wants to be “relevant”. Me too. Maybe relevance is viewed as popularity or ‘having value.’ But that begs the question; Of value to whom? Here is what wikipedia says about Relevance:
The “Principle of Relevance” is the position that any utterance addressed to someone automatically conveys the presumption of its own relevance. … relevance is conceived as relative or subjective, as it depends upon the state of knowledge of a hearer when they encounter an utterance. (Read lots more difficult to understand things about relevance at wikipedia.)
I love that!
#1 Just by opening our mouths we already INDICATE that we believe we have something relevant to say!
#2 We aren’t the ones who decide that anyway, it’s the hearer!
Growing up in a somewhat artistic, story-telling, information-disseminating type family, there were a couple concepts I heard now and then… “finding your voice” and “finding & knowing your audience” These are the things that define my relevance. Who am I? What do I have to say? Do I know who wants to hear it? Am I saying it to the right people? (or can I be found by those who want to hear me?)
Here are some people that I find inspiring as I think about “being relevant” to a particular audience:
- Jeremiah the prophet – wasn’t too well received, however
- Jesus – understood his relevance – others didn’t
- Alan Hirsch – bring a dictionary, take notes to figure out later
- Jeff Ekblad – sticks to what he knows – is open about learning
- John Ekblad – his words may mean the difference between life and death to his troops – THAT is relevance!
- Small group leaders (at Yorkville, in particular – I know them)
- Most everyone on staff at CCC – hpftwbtG (eternal relevance)
- Mom – completely true to self expression through multimedia (don’t tell her it can’t or shouldn’t be done!)
And here we go…if your name is NOT on this list: You may or may not take it personally, as you choose. It is a list “off the top of my head.” I am a people pleaser and it is going to bother me that I have not listed everyone I know… Mom, you are not last on the list because I added you out of guilt. I took you off several times because I thought it might seem cheesie to have “mom” on my list… (rolling eyes)