Matthew Paul Turner
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Relevance. It’s a term that gets thrown around in pop culture on a regular basis, but what exactly does it mean? Is it an embodiment of all that is vogue? Perhaps, it’s a desirable lifestyle choice in which one personifies the hottest fashions, tastes, and trends. Maybe relevance revolves around a materialistic existence in which one must own the most up-to-date gadgetry or acclimate themselves to only the sleekest technological breakthroughs? For much of society’s seemingly shallow state, these definitions are sadly the premises around which many make desperate attempts at achieving relevance with MTV, Rolling Stone, and reality TV programming perpetually reinforcing such spiritually bankrupt scenarios. But how do we as Christians fit into this paradox? How can we maintain our status in the world while keeping our footing in a Gospel-inspired, yet truly relevant, worldview? "That’s the question most young people are looking to answer these days as they’re torn between keeping up with culture and staying true to the person God made them to be," ponders speaker, writer and visionary Matthew Paul Turner, whose books address such issues. "We are a generation made up of Christians who are arguably much more in touch with what’s happening in the world than generations’ past. Yet, we’re also a lot more distant from a regular church life, and some of us are totally disenfranchised with organized religion all together." In fact, the former editor of the Christian music industry’s leading periodical CCM Magazine will be the first to admit he’s experienced a fractured spiritual upbringing while rotating between several churches. Regardless of such rocky beginnings, Turner has found footing in a personal relationship with Christ, which has since inspired him to take pop culture by its reigns and encourage fellow believers to incorporate a godly lifestyle within their daily societal interactions. It’s within this delicate spectrum that he carefully crafted his book’s message—a message that attempts to educate and instill social assertiveness in fellow believers, simultaneously equipping them to shine their lights as they interact on the front lines. "My message is mostly geared toward young adults between 15 and 39––an age range where there seems to be a real spiritual identity crisis," notes Turner. "The concept of my talk God Culture is designed to communicate how Jesus really applies to our daily lives. I want to say it in a way that speaks their language instead of forcing them to digest all the doctrine or rhetoric that may have burned them in the past." Whether personal narratives from his own faith development, a consistent citing of meaningful statistics relating to spiritual awareness in America, or the intertwining of antidotes adapted directly from the most up to date media, music, and movie sources, Turner has his finger on the pulse of this generation. His anointed ability to instill the true meaning of relevance on his audience allows for a renewal of hope and excitement for what it means to live for Christ. "Ever since I left school, I’ve sought to be a voice for Christ in culture," Turner says. "If there’s ever a time for a spiritual awakening in the world, it’s right now. We’re seeing so much pain, the deterioration of community, the break down of family structures, bombs exploding all over the world and so many other scary situations. Turner’s vast host of music industry experiences includes logging time as a concert booker for the world famous coffeehouse Jammin’ Java and holding the music and entertainment editorial position at Crosswalk.com. This background, as well as regular rounds of interaction with his primary demographic at concerts, online chats, and a consistent string of public appearances (including coveted spots at national Christian festivals and numerous colleges around the country) only solidifies this burgeoning message sender’s credibility and impact capacity. "We live in a culture that is very hard to minister to, yet people are looking for something real that they can wrap their hearts around," concludes Turner. "Whether someone’s already come to the faith in Jesus or is investigating it for the first time, they have a need for someone who is eternally relevant, and I feel called to help them find His way."
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