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Old 07-29-2008, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Scranton
2,938 posts, read 786,586 times
Reputation: 570
Yes, but maybe then the "seeker" oriented churches do serve a very good purpose...to bring people to Christ....which is also why many people do move on from these churches after being a little more grounded in their faith. I hope I don't get flamed for this, but after being unchurched for quite a while, I attended a non-denominational "seeker oriented" church for a while, and then ended up in a Catholic church as I became more grounded in my faith and was seeking more than just seeker-oriented messages and good music from a praise band. But I don't regret for a minute that I went to that church, because it got me thinking about God again and reading the Bible, and following Christ. The services were good...good music, uplifting sermons that really applied to daily life...but after a while, I was seeking more and kind of became "bored" with the rock-concert type atmosphere.

So maybe that's where you're at now....the seeker-oriented Church was good for a while, but led you to seek something deeper.

 
Old 07-29-2008, 10:30 AM
 
4,669 posts, read 1,321,349 times
Reputation: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by FightinPhils View Post
Yes, but maybe then the "seeker" oriented churches do serve a very good purpose...to bring people to Christ....which is also why many people do move on from these churches after being a little more grounded in their faith. I hope I don't get flamed for this, but after being unchurched for quite a while, I attended a non-denominational "seeker oriented" church for a while, and then ended up in a Catholic church as I became more grounded in my faith and was seeking more than just seeker-oriented messages and good music from a praise band. But I don't regret for a minute that I went to that church, because it got me thinking about God again and reading the Bible, and following Christ. The services were good...good music, uplifting sermons that really applied to daily life...but after a while, I was seeking more and kind of became "bored" with the rock-concert type atmosphere.

So maybe that's where you're at now....the seeker-oriented Church was good for a while, but led you to seek something deeper.
I think we agree that the "seeker" church WILL bring in the unchurched. But you said it yourself--after awhile you just get bored. The problem that I have with it is that many people don't "graduate" to a better church--they either stop going, or they stay in that seeker church indefinitely--and stay a seeker indefinitely.

I find it interesting that you left a non-denominational church and went catholic. Were you previously catholic? Is there a reason you didn't find another non-denominational or evangelical church that went deeper?
 
Old 07-29-2008, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Columbia, Missouri
25 posts, read 76,230 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdbrich View Post
Yes, He certainly did.

And we should evangelize the "sick", but read 1 and 2 Corinthians, and the other letters that Paul wrote. Sunday morning is not to be the primary evangelism tool--it's to worship God and to edify the church. We should be going out to find the non-believers and sharing the good news. If a non-believer should enter our Sunday morning service, they should certainly be comfortable, and should be welcomed. But the service is about worshiping God--not the entertainment of the un-churched. Why would you focus an entire service on 10% of the people and leave the other 90% starving? Teach solid, Biblical teaching--and you'll reach both types. If the seeker is truly seeking, they won't be turned off by solid teaching.

Read the Book of Acts, or 1 and 2 Corinthians. Do you honestly feel that the early church was as focused on using their Sunday morning worship meetings for evangelism as what we see today?
Having a bachelors degree in religious studies (emphasis on the history of Christianity, especially early and medieval) and a minor in history, I'd say the earliest Christians were probably more worried about not being killed by the local government establishment than arguing about using hymn number 256 versus Mercy Me. They HAD to be covert and secretive about witnessing to those who were not yet followers of Christ, or they'd be killed. This is why they often met in secret in the richer men and women's houses who were their patrons (like Priscilla and Aquila, who hosted church at their home).


Quote:
Any way you look at it, you'll see that our seeker-sensitive churches are full of people that are people that are converting--but not growing. We get 100 commitments for Christ in a month, or baptize 20 people, and we think we're accomplishing God's mission. In actuality, these people are either staying immature, baby Christians that are incapable of growing, or they're reverting back to what they were before they walked in the door. Our churches need to encourage growth--not just provide good music and a 20 minute topical sermon that'll "help you during your week".

It's not just what I want--it's the fact that the people are starving for solid teaching. People don't want the watered down stuff they've been hearing.
I went to Westside for several years when I was in high school in Omaha and periodically when I came back to visit in college. My husband, who was raised Catholic, and I attended a small college ministry style church (and got married by the pastor) and we've moved on to a large (for the city we live in) seeker style church. He said the messages were much more personally relevant to him than the homilies at his home Catholic church.

They are very clear they are seeker friendly, but they are even more clear that if you desire a deeper look to get involved in small groups, Sunday school classes, and Bible studies. I think that's true of just about all churches, not just big 2000+ member mega churches or 100 member churches. I don't know too awful many seeker style churches where the talk during the worship service is the only show in town in that they also don't have Bible studies, seminars, workshops, etc where you can further your understanding. If people want to know more, they're either going to have to find it on their own in their own personal study or find it in a Bible study or other small setting. After all, how many lay people really understand complicated exegesis on Scripture in a sermon without first sitting and talking with others? I know I sure appreciate a good rousing discussion!
 
Old 07-29-2008, 11:33 AM
 
4,669 posts, read 1,321,349 times
Reputation: 409
If you've gotten plugged in to a church and you're growing...great. But I think you might be talking about the same church that my wife attended for 15 years and got married in. We have found it to have changed in the past 3-4 years, and people are now leaving in droves because the new pastor has basically told people to get out if they don't like the seeker-sensitive model.

My issue with the whole seeker-sensitive thing is that people are basically lazy. If you don't challenge people weekly with deep teaching, most won't go looking for it. It's entirely possible for a person to sit in a seeker-friendly church for 10 years and not have it affect their personal life, or for them to actually become a believer. I find that to be a shame.
 
Old 07-29-2008, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Columbia, Missouri
25 posts, read 76,230 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdbrich View Post
My issue with the whole seeker-sensitive thing is that people are basically lazy. If you don't challenge people weekly with deep teaching, most won't go looking for it. It's entirely possible for a person to sit in a seeker-friendly church for 10 years and not have it affect their personal life, or for them to actually become a believer. I find that to be a shame.
That's for certain and I cannot disagree with that. I think you're going to find that in just about any church though, from the most seeker driven to a doctoral level theological seminary. You can't make people become more spiritually mature, they have to want to or feel compelled to do it on their own. Just like you can't make people leave their weekly lie in on Sunday mornings and get their rear ends in the pews. Just understand that this deep teaching doesn't necessarily have to come from the pulpit (or the stage, or whatever).

In fact, I've actually found from my experience that the more aggressive seeker churches are better at telling folks to try joining a Sunday school class, small group, or attending a seminar or retreat where they can deepen their understanding than the more "stoic" (best word I can think of at the moment, sorry) churches, where the Sunday school hour may be on the church sign and on the bulletin, but it's more taken for granted that people will go there as well.

I think we can learn much from our Catholic and Protestant brothers and sisters in the unfortunate model of the state of churches in Europe and the UK. It seems only the seeker style churches are not going the way of the dinosaur. Beautiful cathedrals and buildings, but almost no one coming to the services.
 
Old 07-29-2008, 01:09 PM
 
4,669 posts, read 1,321,349 times
Reputation: 409
All of that sounds great, in theory. It is possible to teach sound doctrine and still be welcoming to seekers. The current model though that is used by many of the seeker-friendly churches is to be so accepting and friendly to anyone that walks through the doors that nothing is demanded of them. Consequently, you see people sit in the pews for 10 years and never go any deeper than the sermon on marriage enrichment that was presented. Meanwhile, the rest of the congregation is just going through the motions in the Sunday service in the hopes that Joe Seeker gets saved and joins a Sunday School class.

I would just prefer a deeper teaching. The seeker will get fed, as well as the mature Christian.
 
Old 07-29-2008, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Columbia, Missouri
25 posts, read 76,230 times
Reputation: 18
Can you give us an example of some good teaching from the pulpit that you'd like to hear? I ask as I'm not sure what unsound doctrine you've heard. I'm also not sure how the non-believer or the spiritually young Christian will be fed if they don't understand. If they don't understand, why would they stick around?

I get your point that you like hearing things above and beyond the "basics," which is totally fine! I also understand your frustration with people who don't want to do more than punch in their 1 hour spiritual clock off the check off to do list for Sundays. But why does deep theological exegesis HAVE to delivered during the half hour or whatever sermon? In my opinion and my experience, deeper issues are best left with time for questions and discussion so that way the meaning is clearer and that more people can understand so their spiritual journey can be enriched. Unless a church has a small group or Bible study where that can happen after each sermon to discuss the points (which is is a great idea, btw), I doubt everyone is really getting much out of it if it is at too high a level of comprehension. It's the equivalent of teaching molecular biology or advanced calculus to a 7th grader. And your idea of "deep" teaching may be small potatoes to someone else.

Anyways, I don't think there's anything wrong with using the sermon to whet someone's appetite for something deeper. But we can't make them do that, whether it's with seeker level talks or seminary level sermons. We can only offer the opportunities, resources, and guidance to do so.
 
Old 07-29-2008, 02:55 PM
 
4,669 posts, read 1,321,349 times
Reputation: 409
The trendy thing nowadays is to come up with clever sermon topics. At some point you run out of them, and then what?

Look at some of the topical sermon series that have been presented in some of the area churches. Go back through the 13 pages of this thread and you'll find a few questionable ones mentioned.

The apostle Paul mentioned that scripture be used when the church meets. What's wrong with opening up the Bible and teaching through it line by line? I think it's important that the Bible be taught in church. I think it's important that the congregation follow along in their Bibles. If they don't have one--provide one for the visitor--and give them a page # of where to find the passage. Don't just pick a verse out of the air to support your point and put it in the bulletin or up on the screen. Teach through the text--so the people can see if the pastor is pulling a fast one. The congregation should be encouraged to hold the pastor accountable to sound teaching. I'm not suggesting that the pastors teach college-level theology, but it should be Biblical.

There's nothing wrong with the occasional sermon or series of sermons covering a Biblical topic. My church is currently doing a series on the minor prophets. My pastor is not going line-by-line through each one, as he's covering a book at a time--but at the end of th sermon the person in the pew has a good idea what the book was about, and is encouraged to delve deeper into it.

But when a church teaches self-improvement (ala Joel Osteen) or a marriage enrichment series...there are deeper and more important things to cover. There are too many false teachers and fluffy preachers out there teaching garbage--the flock needs to be taught how to tell the difference.

I really don't think we're too far off in our philosophies on it.
 
Old 07-29-2008, 06:34 PM
 
Location: NE
3 posts, read 9,923 times
Reputation: 13
I agree with what 'kdbrich' has been saying about the church being for believers. Pray and read through the books he suggested (Acts, both Corinthians). Seek the lost by visiting their houses, walking up to them on the street, talking to a co-worker or family member, etc. Invite them to your home for a Bible study. Share the Lord Jesus with them. Then invite them to your church. Always use the Bible as your main text. The Bible IS the Word of God!
What does 'church' mean? We are the church ... meaning the BODY of Christ. We cannot be a part of the BODY of Christ (the church) if we are not saved! Are you saved? Read John 15 ... if you are saved, are you abiding in Christ?

Don't just take your pastor's word for it. Go home and search the scriptures to see whether those things are so. It is up to you to dig in, not someone else to spoon feed you. If you have questions, ask. Buy a concordance. Buy a good Bible dictionary. Download esword for free - it has so many resources including early works. You do not have to have a fancy degree to understand the Word of God! You need the Holy Spirit! (1 John 2). Also remember, God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14). Also ... Ecc 12:12And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

We are to be strangers and pilgrims (Hebrews 11:13, 1 Peter 2:11). We are to look and seem odd to the world. In fact, the world will probably hate us just like it hated (and still does hate) Jesus (John 15:18). If the world walks into your church and does NOT feel a little uncomfortable, something is probably wrong (with your church).
We are to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world (Titus 2). We are to be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 3). We are to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul (1 Peter 2). We are to not love the world (1 John 2). We are to have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness ... even more than that, we are to REPROVE them (Ephesians 5). We are to search the scriptures daily (Acts 17). We are to DENY OURSELVES, pick up our crosses DAILY and follow Jesus (Luke 9). We are to give everything to the Lord ... even our families and our own lives (Luke 14). There is so much more I could say here, but time does not allow.

This is Truth. Is your church preaching it? If so, let me know because I'm looking for a Bible believing, Bible preaching church!

I am enjoying this discussion ...

In Christ,
Joanne
 
Old 08-12-2008, 10:26 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,412 times
Reputation: 10
Try Shadow Lake Community Church on 72 and HWY 370
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