Monday Morning Insights

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    Jim Turney Named “Most Relevant Pastor in America”

    "It's fun to be recognized, but the glory goes up," he said, gesturing with the same hand in which he held his standard Starbucks double-shot vanilla latte ? the one he takes with him to the pulpit on Sunday mornings.

    Hundreds of pastors nominated by their churches for the award milled around the Hilton hotel lobby, standing in line at half a dozen coffee carts and swapping tips on which movie clips they are using lately as sermon illustrations. A knot of pastors stood in one corner and compared BlackBerries.
    "Being with all these other relevant pastors is like being among family," said Cole Jenkins of Jackson, Mich.

    Judges noted that Turney carefully selects the popular songs and TV shows to refer to in his sermons, and often preaches with his iPod earbuds draped around his neck. They gave him a 10 for Casual Demeanor and a 9 for Relevant References.
    "The guy is in full relating mode with his congregation," said one judge. "He's completely dialed in."

    The slightly less relevant runners-up didn't seem to mind missing the prize.

    "We're all relevant, and that's what matters," said one.

    [Note to all the irrelvants out there: is a parody site.  This story is not true.  It never happened.]  Just a little church leadership comedy for you as you start out your week.  smile


    This just in from  Jim Turney of Raleigh won the coveted Most Relevant Pastor in America 2005 prize at a ceremony in November…


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    1. Bill on Sun, December 04, 2005

      What is relevance? Is that what a pastor is called to be - relevant? Paul told Timothy to “Preach the word and be instant in season and out.” I would guess this relevant thing just wasn’t an issue back then, huh?

      What comes to mind?

      James 4:4-5

      Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

      In Christ,



    2. bobby on Sun, December 04, 2005

      Wow.  I think that post was just meant to be funny.  Kinda light hearted you know.  I got a kick out of it anyway.

      I guess we could get into a heavy debate about the relevance of being relevant, but I think I hold off and just enjoy the article for now.  Fun post, Todd!


    3. Dean on Mon, December 05, 2005

      I laughed out loud.  But I really can imagine something like that happening in the church world of the good ole U.S.A.  It would make for a great new reality show with lots of humor mixed in.  Wonder if they would run something like that on TBN to get some more spiritual dittoheads to watch their channel?

    4. Evangelist Jeff on Mon, December 05, 2005

      All Christians are relevant. That is why Jesus left us here to carry on his work he started. If Christians are not relevant then he would had take us home after saving us. After all he called us the salt of the world. Salt preserves things. So I thought it was a cute story.

    5. Pastor Andy on Mon, December 05, 2005

      What a hot-button subject! In a day when we’re all bombarded with this pressure to be more relevant, I wonder how far we go to accommodating our culture’s tastes. Sure, we need to relate God’s Word to a current culture, and we want the church to be a place where people don’t feel like they are entering some sort of counter-culture, but I’ve often wondered how much our Christianity is shaped by our blending with the culture. Maybe that’s why we have a Western-mind understanding of Christianity, instead of the orginal eastern religion mindset that it sprang up within. Stuff to ponder?

    6. Peter Hamm on Mon, December 05, 2005

      Uh oh… the conversation is getting serious.

      Watch out guys. The Lark is a HUMOR site, kinda like a Christian “onion”.

      And by the way, the story is false. How do I know? Because in reality, actually I AM the most relevant pastor in America. It’s been proven scientifically with charts and graphs and statistics and stuff… (or maybe that was Rick Warren… I don’t remember now, I’m too busy sitting here being relevant to remember! and sipping my latte and blogging and listening to a podcast and being all emergent and such…)

      Thanks for the funny, Todd! Okay… together now… EVERYBODY LAUGH!




    7. Evangelist Jeff on Mon, December 05, 2005

      Peter I have a Jerry Clower joke for ya.. There’s this boy who come’s into his dad’s house screaming, “Lion in the yard, Lion in the yard.” The man heard this and knew right away what was going on and that it was old man Johnsons dog. Every summer he takes and shaves all the hair off this dog except for around his head. So he tells him “boy you go to room and pray and ask God to forgive you for lying.” So he goes up there and is there for an hour. So he calls him to come down. He asked, “Did you ask God to forgive you for lying about that dog boy.” “Yes Sir, I did.” “And what did he say.” “well sir he thought that was a lion in yard to.”

    8. bishopdave on Mon, December 05, 2005

      I love Lark News. I love MMIblog. I love Todd. I love it when something is so obviously off the wall and even carries a disclaimer and yet soapboxes are quickly stacked and mounted.

      Go to, check out the June 2005 issue in the Archives. I love the missions trip defectors and the church growth conference.

    9. Rob on Mon, December 05, 2005

      Umm, I was wondering when they were going to hold the most irrelevant preacher award?

    10. Dan on Mon, December 05, 2005

      Great satire.  Great partly because it’s so absolutely *believable*!  Ouch ... but funny.  I’m going to be LarkNews’ newest biggest fan.



    11. Ben E. on Mon, December 05, 2005

      Okay Pete, if YOU are the most relevant pastor in America, everyone will want to know how you did it.  In time, you’ll write a book explaining it all.  What will the title be?  (I’ve have a few titles in mind but I’m not steppin’ on that one first!)

      Of course, you do realize that once the book sweeps the nation and your name becomes synonymous with the “Relevancy Movement,” we’ll hate you too.  For you too shall become the focus of all that’s wrong in church today.

      I just want to make sure you know what your taking on here!

      Ben E


    12. JCE on Mon, December 05, 2005

      Hmmm?? Let’s see. With less than 5% of the already born again followers of Jesus (i.e. Christians)in the world today even possessing the possibility of ever watching a TV show or movie, having a cell phone, drinking a Starbucks Latte or even knowing what an iPod is, let alone having its earbuds draped around their neck…hmmm?? I wonder(even as I make use of my voice activated keyboard), how “relevant” we who be so “hip” in our abilities to “connect” with the world really are!?!

      The rapid paced evolution of technological advances, information systems and media driven communications dictating the successes of our “relevance” is moving so fast that what we boastingly consider “cutting edge” in ministry today is already taking on the odor of decaying traditionalism.


    13. sTeve on Wed, December 07, 2005

      I just love the soap box..they are part of the humor….right?

    14. John Mac on Thu, December 08, 2005

      And the Paulie go"s to Todd. Because he has the ability to bring a smile to our faces and sometimes a good laugh. Thank Todd and I had to call it something and we Know Paul is very relevant.

    15. Steve on Mon, December 19, 2005

      BILL, are you feeling a little goofy now or do you even realize the joke was on you. Of course i am sure humor is wrong for this very reason, it tends to out you.

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