The problem with Seeker Friendly Churches
I first heard this term last year during a conference. The only thing I learned about it (wasn’t the topic for the day) was that these churches are not offensive to non-Christians and generally have a huge following. The thinking behind these churches is this: “get people in the church any way we can, and let God figure out how to save them.” Church members feel it’s their job to go recruit anyone not in a church to attend their church and will practically bribe them to go to church by offering multiple services and activities such as getaways, dramas/plays, etc. While it is certainly possible to get messages across through various music, skits and such, it tends to create a membership that attends for the activities versus a body that attends to learn more about discipleship. Sometimes, it can get downright ridiculous and shows a desperation to build the church through numbers filling seats.
– Entertainment driven church
– Marketing God like Beer and Sports Cars
I originally thought that these churches offered beginner messages for those coming to know Christ so they could work their way up to the meatier parts of the gospel. A few weeks ago, I started wondering what happens after people join these churches? If these churches just offered the “light” side of God and warm, fuzzy messages, then when were the members going to learn the deeper truths?
What is often the result of these churches is an inadequate gospel that focuses on church growth, teaching a self-help message sprinkled with Bible verses to lift spirits (eg “Everything’s going to be alright!” “This is your year!” “The wealth of the wicked is about to be transferred into the hands of the righteous!”) and very little, if any, discussion of living a life of righteousness. When Christians that have been pursuing righteousness or dedicated themselves to pursuing discipleship attempt to share the parts of the Bible discussing sin and holy living, they are generally shunned and seen as negative, “holier than thou” legalistics looking to control others through judgmental statements because….after all, “Grace covers sin”. This “gentle conversion” method with emphasis on keeping members happy is a disservice to its members which can cost people their souls and is quite serious.
Why is this a big deal?
– Paul Washer Mocks Modern Gospel
– Sinner aka Seeker Friendly Church
Let’s consider this from another angle. We, as Christians, have spent quite some time trying not to offend people, but the truth is….the Gospel IS offensive! Jesus says He is the ONLY way to God….period! There are no “other paths” to Heaven. The Bible says our works and our “goodness” are worthless and as filthy rags because we were born into sin and transgress against God. We are supposed to die to ourselves, control our desires and thoughts, love our enemies, pray for and bless those who persecute us, display fruits of the Spirit, lay up our treasures in Heaven, be Spirit-led, do everything for the glory of God. Jesus says the man not born of the Spirit cannot understand spiritual things. The flesh and spirit oppose each other, so God must touch man’s heart and draw him unto Him before man will seek God. So, that would mean that seeker friendly churches are irrelevant because people don’t want to come off the street and out of sin to find God.
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”John 6:44
Was Jesus concerned about gathering a huge following, entertaining them or sparing their feelings? (Consider Him turning over tables in the temple or telling people their father is the devil.)
– Seeker Sensitive Jesus?
Maybe we should focus on teaching and learning the Bible as demonstrated in the New Testament and let Jesus build His church.
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32