have I been mistaught?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. nodak

    nodak
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    Have I been mistaught the meaning of the term "seeker sensitive service?"

    I've been taught that for our services to be seeker sensitive we must:

    First and foremost, make the seeker feel connected to us and to God. No talk of repentance or conversion or being born again in a seeker sensitive service. No talk of what God demands of us. Instead, we should make them feel right at home as if they already belong to the church. We should speak as though they are already reconciled to God and as though God's purpose for being is to make their earthly life better. (And in order for them to feel like they are "one of us" we should be imitating the unsaved in matters of custom such as clothing, hair, language, etc.)

    Once they are comfortable enough to seek membership, then begin discipling them to a "deeper understanding of God including the need to be born again."

    Is that what seeker sensitive service means? I was in a class where the topic came up, and that WAS NOT how they would define "seeker sensitive". They define it as making it easy for a visitor by:

    Being friendly but not singling them out as visitors or embarrassing them.

    Helping them find their way around. Be explicit in instructions such as "Let's all pick up the blue book in the rack in front of you. That is the hymnal. Let's all turn to page 100 and sing xyz."

    Speaking, singing, and preaching what your church teaches without compromise but without belittling other groups. (Example might be the preacher saying "I am going to read our text today from the KJV. We use this version as the official version of this church" rather than "I am reading from the KJV. If you are reading another version we have a trash can by the door. Feel free to use it on your way out.")

    Teaching by example. If you believe in contemporary music, or hymns, or dressing up for church, or dressing casually, or whatever, just do it. Don't make a big issue of it to visitors.

    I have to say that the second way makes a lot more sense to me than what I have been taught.

    So which is what the "seeker sensitive movement" is all about?
     
  2. tinytim

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    This is closer to what I mean when I think a church should be seeker sensitve...

    It is realizing that there are people out there seeking the truth.
    And we should be giving it to them without stuffing it down their throat..
    It is about common courtesy, and not assuming that everyone knows what the "doxology" is.

    It is using terms that speak in their language, and not assuming that when the preacher says stuff like

    A seeker sensitive church to me is one that presents the clear gospel in a way that is not caught up in the trappings of religion.

    Put yourself in the shoes of someone that knows nothing about Christianity or your church... when they drive past your church, is there any reason for them to want to stop and come inside on any Sunday morning?

    It is being sensitive to the needs of your community and realizing how to reach those that are different from you.
     
  3. webdog

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    What you were first taught is the strawman definition of seeker sensitive, usually given by calvinists, IFB, and those that hate Rick Warren.

    Your second set of definitions is what seeker sensitive is about.
     
  4. nodak

    nodak
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    webdog--is it a straw man when this is what we were told and actually did in that church? I mean, it wasn't a preacher saying "this is what those awful seeker sensitive people do" but rather "we want to be seeker sensitive so this is what we are gonna do". Pastor was not fundie in any sense of the word. Idolized Rick Warren. Perhaps misunderstood Warren?

    tinytim--dh sure identifies about the doxology. My home church sang it every Sunday. His did not. He sure appreciated our umpteenth move when the new (to us) pastor simply said let's all sing #whateveritwas. Finally he could join in!
     
  5. TCGreek

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    I just disagree with Warren's soteriology. I do not hate him. What then do we mean by a straw man? :godisgood:
     
  6. righteousdude2

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    Lady Clairol Christians???

     
  7. ajg1959

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    I believe the "seeker sensitive" movement goes beyond just the visitors. Many churches today teach a generic, watered down, non-offensive gospel, designed to not step on anyones toes. Many people that I know will only attend this type of church because they dont want anyone preaching accountability to them. I am talking about long time members and deacons, they just want church to be painless and easy.

    AJ
     
  8. Marcia

    Marcia
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  9. jcjordan

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    I would agree with this and also add that the root of the problem is a desire to please men rather than God. If we start planning our services around the ideas of what will make people come or happy instead of what will make God happy, then we are guilty of idolatry. I don't have a problem with being "seeker sensitive" as long as we realize that God is the seeker!
     
  10. webdog

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    This is what I was talking about. The desire is not to please man over God, it is to do as Paul did when coming across unbelievers.
     
  11. Aaron

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    Yes.

    There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Rom 3:11
     
  12. donnA

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    I think if you want to know what it means you should get your info from someone more familiar with it, who has it in their church or who does it, or from RW himself, as this will be the only way you can be sure of what your being taught. Everyone else will add to it what they see it as, their personal opinion, even if it no longer looks like what it is meant too, meaning they will change what ti si to suit themselves, so they can be sure to always hate it. Probably true with most things.
     
  13. rbell

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    Psalm 119:10--
    "I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands."

    Jeremiah 29:13--
    "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

    Acts 15:15-17--
    The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
    " 'After this I will return
    and rebuild David's fallen tent.
    Its ruins I will rebuild,
    and I will restore it,
    17that the remnant of men may seek the Lord...' "


    Stickin' with that "yes?"
     
  14. blackbird

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    Ladies and Gentlemen

    We are "on the horns of a dilemma!!!"

    Aaron quoted a verse from Romans 3:11 which states "There is not that seek after God"

    But

    Rbell quotes from Psalm 119:10 which states, "I will seek after you with all my heart"

    Which one is it?? Which verse is true?? They're both true---one is "pre-salvation"---the other is "post-salvation"

    Seems to me that Jesus is the REAL "seeker" when He said---"I am come to SEEK and to save those who are lost"
     
  15. skypair

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    Only got a moment...

    ... but I see "seeker friendly" as desiring "head-count." In fact, Bill Hybels recently said that his seeker friendly church was not doing nearly enough to disciple those who "converted." They were allowed, apparently, to drift along living their lives as they had before. Nothing objectionable to the "average Joe" lost person was ever set forth to challenge Christians to greater faith and conviction.

    skypair
     
  16. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    I would disagree with this. We use the KJV regularly, not exclusively, but regularly
    Now I would agree with this but
    Can't we do both?

    Perhaps not the mold itself part, but can't we both disciple and feed believers and still offer the gospel of salvation to the lost?

    Aren't we supposed to do both?
     
  17. webdog

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    If one is post salvation, the Word of God is not true due to the fact we don't always seek HIm. Plus, a "post salvation" person doesn't need to "find" Him (Jer. 29:13).

    When "as it is written" starts something...we need to go back and see where it was written, the context of that passage, and apply that to the context of the speaker who said "as it is written".
     
  18. nodak

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    donnA--I'm not sure how to get my info more from the source. Our church studied the "Purpose driven Church" and implemented the actions in the first scenario in my initial post in going seeker sensitive. My question is, did we do what we were supposed to do in following what we perceived to be Saddleback practices, or did we miss the boat?

    North Carolina Tentmaker--I am with you 100% that we need to both disciple and evangelize. I guess the question becomes then does the seeker sensitive model do either? For that matter, does the traditional model do them?

    DH and I were discussing this over lunch. Our situation is not typical, in that we are living in a neighborhood of druggies, drug runners, gang members, etc. We have most neighbor couples who are unmarried. "She" may have kids by several fathers and "he" may have kids with various mothers. "She" may make a living on the street at night and "he" might be the guy who just stole your vehicle. "She" is likely to be in some state of undress any time you see her. His manly attributes will probably also be freely displayed.

    We consider ourselves missionaries (unofficial version) to our neighborhood. So just how much should our church services accomodate this particular culture? Musically? Clothing choices? Language? We can change even more in getting seeker sensitive so these folks feel very comfortable in church without any change of lifestyle on their part. But should we? How far is too far to accomodate?

    At what point should the church model a whole different and better life? While we all deplore the "holier than thou" attitude, shouldn't saved people be living a little holier (or a lot holier) than what I just described? Won't it show in the church services?

    Are we to try to fit in with our culture, or are we to try to change our culture, or both?

    Help me out here, folks. This isn't a matter of nice saved churchgoing people fighting over how to do church for us. It is a matter of eternity for these neighbors!
     
  19. Marcia

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    So you have a seeker sensitive church? It's a very particular brand of church and I"m surprised you use the KJV in it.

    Seeker sensitive doesn't just mean you are sensitive to reaching the lost or sensitive to their needs. A SS church formats its whole church and programs toward the unbeliever. One of the big models of this was Willow Creek, although they've admitted it didn't work (unfortunately, now they seem to be going toward the Emergent model, which is worse, imo). Hundreds of churchs across the US modelled themselves on Willow Creek.

    You can't disciple believers and orient the whole church toward the lost the way a SS church does, or at least it's quite difficult. Preaching to the lost is not being seeker sensitive in the way that the term SS church is used. SS is much more than that.

    Many SS churches, for example, have no cross in the sanctuary on the building.

    Why are you calling your church Seeker Sensitive?
     
    #19 Marcia, Aug 26, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2008
  20. webdog

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    I think your use of "whole" is a bit misguided, Marcia.
     

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