Creating Relevant Environments by Andy Stanley - C3 Conference @ Fellowship Church

Intro: Knowing the boundaries enhances the creative process.


A.    Three scenarios:

1.      You’re on the side of the road with a flat tire and someone pulls up behind you, pops up his trunk and approaches you with a set of jumper cables…

2.      The previous week, you boss offered an optional seminar in the parking lot on tire-changing techniques and roadside safety…

3.      You’re on the roadside with a flat tire at night, a car pulls up behind you, and out jump three really big, scary-looking guys speaking a foreign language…

B.     Three Insights:

1.      Information that does not address your felt need is _________________ as irrelevant.

2.      Information that you aren’t convinced you will ever ____________ is perceived as irrelevant.

3.      Information presented in a context that makes you feel uncomfortable ______________ from the relevance of the information.

C.     Three requirements for relevance:

1.      You’ve got to be ___________________ of current felt needs.

2.      You’ve got to ____________________ people’s awareness of their unfelt needs.

What’s the tension we need to create? What’s the question I want them to want me to answer? How do I get them to beg me to answer the question I know they need someone to answer?

3.      You’ve got to address their needs in a way they consider “______________.”


To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

In a church with a stationary pulpit, everything looks like a sermon

In a classroom with rows of chairs, everything looks like a lecture.


A.    ____________________

1.      Context determines _____________________.

2.      Culture and stage-of-life determine what is visually and audibly appealing.

The context of ministry should be shaped by culture.

The context of ministry should be tailored to your target audience.

3.      There is no one-size-fits-all ministry context.


Is the context in which you do ministry appealing to your target audience?


An appealing environment does not equate to relevant ministry. It is only one element.

B.     ____________________

1.      Presentation determines __________________.

2.      It is not enough to present truth.

·         Truth is always relevant, but…

·         Truth is not always perceived as relevant.

·         Our task is to present truth in such a way that people are forced to recognize and ______________ the relevance.

·         It is a mistake to deliver content before you have made your audience hungry for it.

3.      Relevant ministry requires _________________ presentations.

4.      This underscores the need for ___________________ in your presentations.

5.      Use creative elements to:

·         Engage the audience emotionally.

·         Challenge the audience theologically or philosophically.

·         Connect the audience culturally.

·         Orient the audience intellectually.


Are your presentations engaging?

An engaging presentation does not equate to relevant ministry. It is only one element.

C.     ____________________

1.      Content determines ____________________.

2.      The content of ministry should be shaped by need.

·         Felt need

·         Hidden need


Is your information helpful?


A.    Lazy ______________________

B.     Fear ______________________

C.     Bad _______________________

D.    Dead ______________________


1.      Churches are not empty because they are propagating lies. They are empty because they are not helpful. They are not helpful because they are not addressing real needs in an engaging manner.

2.      We need to constantly evaluate our truth delivery systems.

3.      If not, we will continue to be marginalized.

4.      Our challenge is to help people feel the relevance of what we have to say.

Of every environment, program and production, ask…

Is the context appealing?

Is the presentation engaging?
                                 Is the content helpful?


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