Is it wrong to have a "seeker-sensitive" worship service?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Freshchicken, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. Freshchicken

    Freshchicken
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    My church is considering having a seeker sensitive service on Sunday nights. The church is dying and in order for the church to continue, we need to increase in size. We would continue to have a traditional service on Sunday mornings but the night service would be very evangelistically centered. In this service, we would have modern contemporary praise music in an attempt to attract the unsaved and unchurched. We would also like to attract Christians who would rather worship in a newer style. Is it right to attract people with thier "felt needs" in order to reach the lost? If the Gospel is not comprimised or watered down, is a seeker sensitive service a good idea?

    [ November 22, 2004, 02:07 AM: Message edited by: Freshchicken ]
     
  2. Sularis

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    It can be - but the problem are the words seeker-sensitive

    All too often it is used to justify playing emotional music when the altar call or offering is played; or whipping out that electric guitar and playing some "Stryper" - not sure on the spelling.

    If the extremes can be avoided - having a traditional service and a more open evening service is actually a good idea.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    How can "seekers" (whatever they are) worship God? They can't. A seeker sensitive worship service is an impossibility.
     
  4. MTA

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    It is important to have a vision for growth and then work to make that vision a reality. But the one thing you said troubles me. You said, "The church is dying . . ." Why is it dying? Typically, it is not the style of service that leads to church death and attempting to mask an underlying cause of spiritual death will not correct the real problem.

    I would advise the church to do some real, prayerful, soul-searching. Dwindling memberships can be a sign of a far greater illness that needs to be corrected.
     
  5. All about Grace

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    Yes you can have a service designed specifically for evangelism.

    However from your description, it does not sound like the church is really ready to target unbelievers. It takes more than a "let's have an evangelistic service on Sunday night with more contemporary music" attitude to grow and reach the lost. It is a change of mindset -- from inward to outward.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    It is important to have a vision for growth and then work to make that vision a reality. </font>[/QUOTE]That verse is one of the most misused verses in Scripture. It has nothing to do with a "vision" for growth. The word there is chaza ... It means revelation. Where there is no prophetic revelation, people perish. YOu can see that from the parallelism of "law" in the last part of the verse.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    This is true, and IMO, often advisable. But that is not what the question was.
     
  8. JGrubbs

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    I'm with Larry on this one...

    As David Alan Black has pointed out on his web site: The Bible is very clear about "seekers." They don’t exist. Scripture says, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one" (Rom 3:10-12).

    Source: Reaching "Seekers"? They Don’t Exist!
     
  9. All about Grace

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    The terms "seeker-sensitive worship service" and "seekers" are just semantics. We understand what the question implies.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    NO, it is not just semantics. When someone talks about "seekers" worshipping God, they are talking about an impossibility. They are either talking about seekers or worship, not both.

    People need to be more precise with language in this area. I think it is a good thing to have opportunities for "seekers." God is certainly working in people's live through their circumstances to draw them to himself. But there is no such thing as a generic "seeker." No one seeks God until God is working in his heart to draw him.
     
  11. Freshchicken

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    I agree, there are no "seekers". And the unsaved are unable to worship. But we will attract more people with more modern music then we would with more traditional music.
     
  12. gb93433

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    We should always be sensitive to any visitor. Just as I would not serve pork ay my home if I knew Jews would be there. The church that seeks to make anyone feels welcome will have a selfless attitude. No church will get large with a selfish atitude. For it to grow larger and larger it must have more and more of a selfless attitude. It is a fact that the church's ability to grow is directly related to its capacity to love. "By this all men will know you are my disciples if....."

    No program will ever replace what should be there. Programs do not reach people, people do.
     
  13. JGrubbs

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    "Hear, Hear!"

    If we need a pattern for doing church, the one in Acts 2:42-47 is a good place to start:

    And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers. And fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. They sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
     
  14. Servent

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    Sounds to me that what is needed is for the church to go out and seek the lost.
     
  15. joyfulkeeperathome

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    How is the visitation night for this church? Do many come and go door-to-door reaching out the lost????
     
  16. All about Grace

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    I don't think anyone who uses the term "seeker-sensitive worship service" is talking about seekers/unbelievers worshipping God. Worship service is merely the term employed to refer to a specific service of the week, hence it is semantics.

    Again - semantics. I often speak of seekers, but I do not propose that unbelievers spiritually seek God (in a salvific sense) outside of God's work. You are equating the term "seeker" with the idea that an unbeliever is spiritually seeking God. Those in the movement use it to refer to unbelievers.
     
  17. Johnv

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    I see no reason why not. Church needs to meet the needs of its people. So long as the Gospel is not compromised, then give the people what they want.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    Seeker-sensitive services are NOT worship (an unsaved person cannot "worship" per se). They are a way to bring unsaved persons into a church setting where they can (1) hear the Gospel in a user-friendly message and (2) feel comfortable in a church setting.

    In old pre-TV days churches had 2-3 week "revival" campaigns. Special music, speakers, appealing to unsaved to come in. And many did.

    Today? How many unsaved do you attract in with a week of revival? Very few. This is a method of attracting that is up-to-date and meeting that "craving" of the Boomers to go to church and take their kids to SS.

    BTW, I don't like it. I like the much different and stronger approach of REAL Gospel presentation at places like Saddleback (NOT a seeker sensitive place by ANY definition!)
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    Then they need to use a different word. A seeker sensitive worship service cannot exist. IT is not semantics to insist that unbelievers cannot worship.

    I know they use it to refer to unbelievers, but many of them give the unbeliever far more credit than Scripture does. When you read the church growth movements writings, you find that they use the term "seeker" in a spiritual sense.

    I don't actually object to the term "seeker," provided we use it in the context of those whom God is drawing to seek him.

    You might accuse it of being semantics, but we need to use words properly. We cannot play semantic games. It is little wonder that the church doesn't know what "worship" is. We don't use the term properly.
     
  20. superdave

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    Every service we have is prepared for seekers

    If they are seeking the truth, they hear it

    (Lets not get into semantics again. IF they are seeking, its because the Spirit is drawing) No man seeketh after God.

    People who are unbelievers and attend church should see a couple things.

    They should see God's people in a sincere heart of worship
    They should hear the Word taught clearly and plainly
    They should see love to one another, since Jesus said this is how others would know that we are his disciples.
     

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