Concerning the methods & message discussions...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by All about Grace, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    As one who is constantly evaluating the role between modern methods and the unchanging message of Jesus Christ and how these two correspond, I found these three quotes beneficial. I will save the authors for later as they might surprise you.

    These quotes contradict the common misconception that seeker-sensitive churches distort or water down the truth.

    Comments?
     
  2. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    I agree with these statements. We can communicate the gospel to people on their level without compromising The Word. In other words, you can use:

    </font>
    • church sports</font>
    • outrageous (yet scriptural) youth activities</font>
    • music</font>
    • drama</font>
    • home bible studies</font>
    • ...and many other things</font>

    to reach people for the Lord. The difference lies in being "seeker-sensitive," but not "seeker-driven."

    I think of the many instances where Jesus Himself spoke to "sinners" one-on-one and at their level, giving them all they really needed.

    BTW, the quotes look like they came out of the book, "The Purpose Driven Church."
     
  3. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Good guess (and a reasonable one for those who know me) but not this time.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    Excellent! You expressed the distinction very well. [​IMG]
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Actually, these quotes more likely come from Mittelberg's Building a Contagious Church. The problem I see is not with the quotes but with their application into ministry. I read this book and got a great deal out of it. However, I would contend that they are not seeker-sensitive, but rather seeker-driven. That is a serious difference and a serious issue.

    To give just one example of Mittelberg's problem, he says that in witnessing to Jews, we should not bring up the term "Messiah" because that is unnecessarily a turn off to the gospel. Yet in saying that, he has failed to address the very base of the Jewish problem. To fail to speak of the Messiah for fear of offending teh Jew is to water down the message, no matter how much he might claim to reject such an approach. A book by Pritchett on Willow Creek's Seeker Services is very enlightening I have been told (by those who interacted with it in starting churches of their own). Pritchett addressed this "not watering down" issue head on and found that the claims did not quite add up. I had heard (though I cannot confirm) that Willow Creek did some soul searching on this problem after Pritchett's book but I don't know what the outcome was or how deep they really searched. My concern is that they were too committed to their philosophy to search very deep but who knows. I think the reality undermines their best intentions.
     
  6. Bartimaeus

    Bartimaeus
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    Hey Ya'll

    We've got a nice big lake down here called Bull Shoals. I'd like all of ya'll that think "purpose driven" is important to go fishing with me. This is the way we are gonna do it:

    Were going to row out to the middle of the lake in our 16 ft. row boat. I'm going to give you all a 5 gallon bucket and ask you to dip the bucket and pour the water into the boat until it comes within 1 inch of the rim of the boat. See we want the fish to know that they can just come right on by and jump right in and feel real "comfy". You would think I was an idoit and that it would be our last fishing trip.

    OK So... remember..... water belongs outside the boat. Boats with water ....sink. Is there anything too hard to understand here?

    Churches that compromise and bring in the world....sink. Gal 1:4, 4:3.

    Thanks -------Bart
     
  7. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Nice illustration, but it (the illustration) only works in this case if the church brings the world in. There are without a doubt many churches that have watered down the Word. But what about the church that faithfully gives the message? Are they to be lumped into the "sinking boat" illustration also? Can anyone really say that a godly "seeker-sensitive" church that provides a place where searchers are welcomed and given the gospel of Christ, that church is living in and endorsing sin? People are being won to the Lord and discipled, Christians are getting their lives right with Christ, and somehow that is sin, maybe because there are drums in the music session, prayer after the softball game, a drama team, "challenging" youth activities, or God forbid, a "purpose statement?"
     
  8. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    They are from Mittelberg and Hybels. Many straw men burners would be surprised to read such words from these men.

    Some would make the same arguments. At one time, I would have said the same thing. I think Hybels kind of learned as he went. In so many words, he points out in Courageous Leadership that Willow Creek happened so fast that they often had to act without having time to "think" (so to speak). I think Hybels is at a different place in his ministry now. I would contend that WC is closer to being "seeker-driven" than a Rick Warren. At the same time, I would argue that they still communicate a clear gospel message on a weekly/regular basis. The gospel is not distorted. And it must also be pointed out that only their weekend services are seeker-sensitive. The overall ministry seeks a balance that is reflected in their believer's services and other ministries.

    I don't recall the exact portion of the book to which you are referring, but I would suggest that in the overall paradigm of contagious Christianity that debating about the Messiah with a Jew is not the ideal starting point. Indeed one can address the heart of the gospel (sin problem & God's solution) w/o having to initially convince a Jew that Jesus is their Messiah (whatever image that may conjure up in the Jewish mind). Indeed that is an important issue that must eventually be addressed, but is there a need to construct obstacles from the beginning that can be answered later?

    From what I know about Hybels, he is constantly soul searching for how to be more effective in their gospel presentation.

    While I do not agree with everything at WC, the reality is: they do whatever they can do w/o compromise to present the unchanging message of Jesus Christ in a relevant fashion.

    Anyone who has heard Hybels speak cannot deny his intense passion for souls to be transformed by the gospel.
     
  9. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    We've got a nice big lake down here called Bull Shoals. I'd like all of ya'll that think "purpose driven" is important to go fishing with me. This is the way we are gonna do it:

    You clearly "illustrate" the inadequacy of faulty illustrations. As has been pointed out, your fiction is flawed from the moment you left the dock.

    Try fishing with no purpose or intent and you will quickly see how unsuccessful and pointless your expedition will become. Every church has a purpose. The only real question is: Is our purpose what God intended?
     
  10. Bartimaeus

    Bartimaeus
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    Please advise why the illustration is faulty (if it can be done without leaving the intent of the thread). Maybe some of our resident "Theolog's" should start a thread on faulty illustrations and "teach" us something.

    Thanks -------Bart
     
  11. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Most illustrations fall short and/or can be distorted to "illustrate" something other than what is intended.

    I can use the same fishing illustration to show why purpose is necessary to catch fish. If you do not throw an appealing bait, consider water depth, temperature, wind conditions, location, etc., you will most likely not catch any fish. In other words, to catch fish you have to try and think like a fish. :D All of these things can be done without sinking the boat or becoming a part of the water.

    No purpose - No results

    USN has shown adequately other faults in the previous illustration so there is no need to elaborate any further.
     
  12. superdave

    superdave
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    Ask any person in cross-cultural missions, you have to be sensitive to the culture of the people you are reaching, without compromising the truth of the Gospel. And without abandoning the New Testament model for ministry. That is the DMZ that gets shot from both sides, thats usually how you know you have a balanced philosophy, the radicals on both sides don't approve of your methods.

    Our pastor talked about the Purpose Driven Church book sunday night. the exact quote was this.

    "It's the best book out there on church growth, and it's the worst book out there on church growth."

    I would have to say that "Your Church can Grow" is worse that the PDC its by Peter Somebody.

    Our church has taken much of the Philosophy of the PDC and filtered it through our own philosophical and theological filter. There is good in the church growth movement, if you have a good solid philosophy to start from. It is possible to use many of the methods and means, without compromising your message, or your separation.
     

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