Seeker Sensitive: Is It Biblical?

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by MikeinGhana, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
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    When I first read The Purpose Driven Church I thought there was a lot in the book that I agreed with in principle. One of the things at the time I was a bit unsure of was the church becoming "Seeker Sensitive." My problem with it is that the way you win people is the way you keep them. I understand the church should be a nhaven for those needing shelter from the storms of life. I understand the church should be a place where people can get their lives turned around. Does the church have to lower itself in order for this to happen? Do we need to bring the world into the church to reach the world? My uncle, a fire and brimstone SBC preacher who led me to the Lord many years ago said this, "The world is becoming so churchy and the church is becoming so worldly that you can no longer tell them apart." That was in the 60's!

    Is it proper for the church to become Seeker Sensitive?
     
  2. exscentric

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    "The world is becoming so churchy and the church is becoming so worldly that you can no longer tell them apart."

    And that was when things were going good. Today much of Christianity has adopted all the world has to offer, call it christian and enjoy the world without guilt.

    I told our neighborhood church, if I were to survey our area and build a church based on what I found (as some church planters in america do) we would have to have mass on Sunday. Having church the Burger King way ("Have it your way") causes, as you suggest, a lowering of the church to the lowest standard represented.

    But I guess if you want to plant a church that is cost effective you will have to do a Burger King/7-11 church.
     
  3. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Yes.
     
  4. Rhetorician

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    All about Grace,

    Can you amplify your "Yes" above just a bit?

    sdg!

    rd
     
  5. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    I have a hard time with this topic. I guess I think yes and no.

    When I was first saved, it was from attending a youth group with some friends, which in a sense, was seeker sensitive, though the church certainly wasnt. They played music that I could get into. They got together and did teeny-bopper type stuff. It was a lot of fun.

    The gospel was not watered down in any way at all whatsoever, but it was the fact that the ministry was so catered to what I needed and what I could relate to that it got me interested in hearing that gospel. Make sense? If I would have walked into a fundamental house, I would have found it hard to relate, though I am in no way saying that God couldnt have saved me there as well, its just that I think the youth group made it easier for me to understand. (when in rome, right?)

    Tonight I am taking a friend to a seeker sensitive church. He has never once heard the gospel. He has never once been to a church that wasnt Catholic, and he was only to that for a wedding. He was baptized unitarian and then his parents even left that church and raised their children without religion at all. For years, this friend of mine (I went to highschool with him, and then ended up working with him as an adult) would just walk away if we talked about God. (this very anti-God person just so happened to have a couple very close friends who were christians) He would tell us that his family is proof that you do not need God, as all the kids came out moral and successful. I have always looked at my friend and his family and thought.."Bens family would make an excellent Christian family!" You would almost think they were Christians if you didnt sit down and talk to them.

    ANYWAYS, back to my point.. He recently out of nowhere got interested in finding out about Christianity. He got a bible and started reading it at Genesis. I heard about this and got in contact with him to see if he wanted to talk about it. He did. He is SCARED TO DEATH of stepping foot inside a traditional church. He said he feels like an outcast and like he wouldnt know what to do. Another christian friend and I decided to take him to a seeker sensitive church to get him hearing about God and familiarizing himself with what it is all about. He knows nothing about Jesus or God. He is very open however, and I think that the seeker service will be good for him. Paul and I will be taking him out to coffee afterwards and talking with him about it.

    See, I believe that its one thing to be knocked over with the gospel when you know a little background, but I think that most people are either afraid of the background, or they dont know anything about it at all. If you dont even know who Jesus is, how could you understand why He had to die for you?

    Just the other night, I was out watching my husband play the drums, and one of the guys in the band came over to make fun of my husband to our table (which was silly.. we were a table full of christians) and said.."hey, just so you know, our drummer teaches bible school!" He was mocking my husband, but I ended up telling him that he was very welcome to come to church with us, and this guy said.."as long as I dont get struck with lightening on the way in."

    It seems to me that some Christians have scared all the non Christians away.

    I think the bottom line is that Christians on an individual level have not been doing their jobs right by sharing the gospel. How are they to get them into a church without sharing the gospel?

    And yet, sharing the gospel is difficult!! Even if you are willing, I find that many people are not so willing to hear it.. or at least, they arent willing to hear the 30 second version which is about all the "God-talk" you can cram down their throats before they tell you to take a hike.

    I dont know if things have always been this way, but it is because of this, that I believe seeker sensitive churches have their place. They allow folks to check it out without too much being demanded of them. They dont have to change their lives in order to sit in a service and hear about God's love. Nobody is going to judge them or make them feel threatened. (which is how I feel too many Christians on an individual level have made these lost people feel. They dont like who we are, not because of our uncomprimising faith, but because of our hypocritical, judgemental attitudes)


    HOWEVER!!

    With most seeker sensitive churches, you can go about as deep as you want to. One in particular that I was a part of at one time had small groups, a more hardcore service on Thursday nights, classes, leadership training, ministry oppurtunities, etc... You dont have to just drink the milk that they have at their main services. You can dive in if you want to, and at that level, most likely you are going to be convicted and you are going to change and you are going to get meat out of it that way.

    My husband and I are members of a Southern Baptist Church. We left our seeker church for this church that we are a part of because we wanted services with meat and we wanted something more family oriented, however, we both know and appreciate the fact that seeker sensitive churches have their place as well.
     
  6. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I believe that our times of corporate worship should be God Sensitive. Every aspect of worship should be about bringing glory to our God.

    Now, the ministries of our church should be seeker sensitive.
     
  7. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    But Pastor,

    I agree with you to a certain point, but I think that there is a reality to this seeker business. If Christians were doing their jobs, there wouldnt be a need for it, but since most of us are not, there is a need for something like this..

    perhaps the terminology "church" shouldnt be used, because its not the same thing as your average SBC or inde service, but there is a need, and this type of service fills a need.
     
  8. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Emily,

    Biblical worship cannot be seeker sensitive. Only believers worship. Now that does not mean we do not want unbelievers to attend, because of course we do. But we want them to see believers lifting their heart, mind and soul to worship a living, mighty, powerful God. Therefore, we should not gear our worship times for unbelievers, but for believers.

    Our ministries should be geared to unbeleivers to show them the gospel of Jesus Christ.
     
  9. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    Pastor

    again, perhaps the term "church" is inappropriate for these types of ministries, and I dont think that most mature christians would be drawn to a "church" such as this, but I do think that they are very relevant today.

    On a side note, I do not see anything in the bible that described corporate worship the way that we as baptists "do" worship.

    I think its all pretty muddy.
     
  10. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    True believers worship in spirit and in truth...seems rather clear to me. Unbelievers have no way of doing that.
     
  11. Emily25069

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    But what is worship on a Sunday morning?

    Is the definition of a church, members of a baptized body getting together to sing and hear someone preach?

    I dont think that is what the bible is saying at all. And, while I rather enjoy the sermons, I dont necessarily think that they are more of the biblical definition of church than a Sunday School class or a small group.
     
  12. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Worship is the act of prostrating yourself before a holy, mighty, powerful God. It is giving to God all of yourself. It is not about music. It is not about sermons. It is not about anything, but our lives before God. Unbeleivers cannot do this until they know the Lord. Therefore seeker sensitive worship is not possible.
     
  13. TaterTot

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    I think people can worship in many ways, like you described, Emily. Worship, to me, is simply having a meeting with God. SOmetimes its jaw dropping, sometimes its sweet and quiet. I think so many people in church are their because thats just what ya do on Sunday. How do we get them to "get it"? Or can we?
     
  14. Emily25069

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    ok.. I get that. I agree with you on that that unbelievers cannot worship in spirit and in truth. Believers can, and they should be doing it ALL THE TIME, not just on Sunday mornings.

    Now here Im talking in the strictest sense about morning church service. Its not necessarily a "worship" service.. I dont think that there is anything wrong with having the sermon be seeker sensitive. There are a lot of seekers out there on Sunday mornings.
     
  15. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I agree worship should be our focus all day every day.

    The morning church service is all about worship. The sermon should be a time of leading people in worship as well. Now there should be opportunities to share the gospel and invite people to respond to the gospel as a part of worship.
     
  16. TaterTot

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    Sunday School was actually started as an evangelistic tool, for non-believers, but we have turned it into a discipleship type event in most churches. Sure, non-believers should be peppered in throught a Christian worship service. THey might not be able to participate, but they will feel the hole in their life and maybe see what they know they are missing.

    (Excuse me for butting in your conversation) [​IMG]
     
  17. Emily25069

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    "The morning church service is all about worship."


    In your particular church, this is true. This is the beauty of churches being independent. It is perfectly scriptural if a church decides that Sunday mornings will be focused on non-believers, and have their more believer based service at a different time.
     
  18. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    What Scripture says that about worship and non-believers?
     
  19. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    Tatertot

    I am new to this Sunday School business. This is the first baptist church that we have ever been a part of.

    In my experience, at our church, it is definately centered around us as believers. This is where my husband and I have made relationships with other christians. It has been the place where we pray together with other believers about our lives. It is the part of Sunday morning that really has made the most difference in our spiritual walk.

    Its great that it was started as an evangelistic tool. My church is all I know about it though,.

    I've been in a church or 2 that had small groups, and I find Sunday School very similar to what I experienced in my small group.
     
  20. bapmom

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    Thing is, within this discussion here we are assuming that "seeker sensitive" MUST be synonymous with the church getting closer to the world and bringing the world's ways into the church.

    Seeker sensitivity doesn't have to be that way. In reality, most people are just looking for a place that will love them and welcome them as they are. This love and welcome does NOT mean that we have to love and welcome everything they are doing at the time.

    The young man that Emily has described above, she said is afraid of not being accepted. You do not have to take him to a church that is compromising and/or bringing worldly things into its service, in order to find a place that will open its arms to him and love him first as he is.

    We can all be "seeker sensitive" to the point that we don't make horrified faces at people as they walk in to our church wearing "fill in the blank". Or if they walk in with multiple piercings and hair a very interesting shade of orange. All of those things are truly external, and when the person sees that he isn't shocking anyone there, he very often will wonder what else these people have going on inside them.

    Ive seen it happen often at my very fundamentalist, conservative church.
     

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