Patty LaRoche: Spiritually Irrelevant

“Too many Christians live spiritually irrelevant lives.” Surely the article wasn’t talking about me. Surely it was talking about people who just stand on the Kingdom sideline, waiting for someone to come along and invigorate their love for Christ. Surely it was referring to those who remain in the same rut, year after year, as their journey to holiness remains stagnant. Surely it was addressing believers who have no quiet time with the Lord, who own no prayer journal, who only occasionally read the Bible.


But then the article went on to question if Jesus is as much a part of our everyday talk as our latest golf game or the Chiefs’ game-winning interception or our granddaughter’s solo in the choir contest. Do we faithfully intercede for those who seek our prayers? Do we do anything other than maybe tithe our 10 percent and call it good? Do we seek to share the gospel every day?

Joining the sideline crowd here.

Every day? E-V- E-R-Y day? How about once a month? That wouldn’t be bad. Twelve people a year would hear what a difference Christ makes in my life. And those twelve would tell another twelve and…how awesome would that be?

The problem is, I can’t make even that claim. How different would Heaven look if we all lived a “spiritually relevant life”! What if we started today?

What if we just started?

Edward Kimball started with the thankless job of teaching young boys in his Sunday School class. More times than not he wanted to quit, but when one young man seemed confused about the gospel, Kimball went to the shoe store where he was stocking shelves and confronted the teenager in the stock room. That young man was Dwight L. Moody.

Kimball recalled being nervous… “putting my hand on his shoulder, I made what I felt afterwards was a very weak plea for Christ. I don’t know just what words I used, nor could Mr. Moody tell. I simply told him of Christ’s love for him, and the love Christ wanted in return. That was all there was. It seemed the young man was just ready for the light that then broke upon him, and there in the back of that store in Boston, D. L. Moody gave himself and his life to Christ.”

Through Moody’s ministry, thousands came to Christ. One of those was Wilbur Chapman who became an evangelist. It was he who preached to Billy Sunday, a professional baseball player who gave up his career to join Chapman’s team and later himself became an evangelist. A scholarly, dignified gentleman named Mordecai Ham was converted at one of Chapman’s meetings and began his own evangelistic team. So “spiritually relevant” was he that he rented a hearse and paraded it through the streets advertising his get-togethers.

Ham traveled to Charlotte, N.C., where teens decided to disrupt one of his meetings when they heard he had spoken of them skipping lunch to visit a house of prostitution near their school. Billy Frank, a classmate, decided to go only to watch the disturbance. Intrigued by Ham’s message, Frank returned another night and was converted. Billy Frank eventually became known as Billy Graham, the evangelist who preached to more people than any other person who ever lived, including the Apostle Paul.

It started in a shoe store. It ended with a world-wide explosion.

As for “spiritually relevant lives,” I think theirs was a slam-dunk.

Surely it’s our turn to give it a try.

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