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Of course churches should be friendly toward seekers. We are to be friendly to seekers no matter the location. But, being friendly, even welcoming, to seekers, is not what the seeker-friendly churc...
It seems to me that the aim of so-called 'seeker-friendly' churches is to make attendees feel comfortable and so keep them coming along. Unfortunately in order to do this the gospel is often compromised. In order to keep up numbers, out goes preaching about sin and God's command for people everywhere to repent from the world and turn to Christ (Acts 17:25). People may be given a diet of moral platitudes but the call to be truly converted is missing. Yes, we must befriend any visitor that comes to our meetings, but we do them a disservice in the long run if we deny them the message of God's saving grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. Without his righteousness received by faith imparted by God's gracious working of His Holy Spirit a person remains dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1). While such folks may be filling the pews of the visible church on earth they are foreigners to Christ's true Kingdom and without a home in heaven. We are not to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God to change lives (Romans 1:16-17). But we must speak the truth in love, and with much prayer!
I agree with what Micheal, James and JD said in their post! My father in law was a Pastor of what I would have called a rural “Fire and Brimstone” church. He has gone to be with the Lord and I know that I will see him again one day. He told people about the Lord’s love and grace AS WELL as about the Lord’s wrath! In today’s “seeker friendly” churches you only hear about God’s love and sometimes about His grace and how to receive it but most people have never heard about God’s Wrath. Why? I feel that the “seeker friendly” churches are all about getting the numbers, the more that join “their” church it will look good to the outsiders and also that they will have more money to do with what and/or where they think it should go. Do you think that these churches ever thought that the Holy Spirit just might tell someone to give their money to/for a different cause? God Forbid! I asked a preacher once, another “seeker friendly” church, why he or other churches didn’t tell people about God’s wrath and hell. His answer was “we have to go down the middle”. The middle of what? I thought God’s word was black and white, no “middle” or gray area! Going down the middle is the same as what some would say “straddling the fence”, not standing firm on God’s Word. (II Peter 3:16) That is another thing that bothers me about the “seeker friendly” churches. They for the most part like to ask people in Bible study classes “what do you think and to someone else what do you think” about what was said. Everyone has a different answer, and it is O.K.to feel that way. REALLY? Who cares what we think, it is what the WORD says that matters not us! (Rev. 22:18-19) I wish that there would be a return of the small, rural Bible teaching, Bible believing churches. It is not about how many attend their church BUT how many will hear the WORD of GOD! You could tell one of these churches by the number of cars that were outside, you knew they were not telling people “what they wanted to hear” but were telling the truth even if it did offend some of them. (II Timothy 4:3) After all, did you get saved by someone telling you what a great person you were or by the Holy Spirit telling you how sinful and awful you are in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ? The truth hurts doesn’t it? (Hebrews 4:12)
I believe we should seek those who are seeking. Jesus said, without me you can do nothing. We cannot save anyone. It is easy to do more damage than good, By that I mean, we can talk to people until we are blue in the face, but unless God is working, nothing will happen. I do believe preaching the Gospel still saves people. But, where do you hear it anymore. We have many churches where Jesus is standing outside knocking waiting for someone to invite him in. When people truly get saved by the work of the Holy Spirit, it changes lives. I know because I am one of those that has been saved by His grace. I get more out of reading my bible for half hour than I get in most churches in a 45 minute sermon on how we are to make our flesh better. I hate to sound like a downer, but the truth sometimes hurts.
I too believe churches should be seeker friendly but like Michael, James and others have stated the purpose should be to preach and teach the saving gospel and disciple young believers. My wife and I have our own personal Bible study 6 evenings a week and sometimes on Sunday, no brag just fact. Whomever is sleeping over is expected to participate. In the summer of 2012 a 9 year old grandson spent quite a bit of time with us during a very trying period in the life of his family. We had the privilege of sharing God's Word with him on many occasions. To make a long story short, one evening after reading God's Word the little guy's eyes started welling up with tears and he started crying profusely. Between sobbing he said that he did not want to go to hell. Then I heard the most precious words a grandfather could ever hear this side of eternity. "Papa, will you tell me how I can be saved?" I genuinely believe The Lord saved him that night. Why? 1. He realized he was: lost, guilty before God 2. He could not save himself. 3. Christ has provided the only way, 4. He confessed The Lord Jesus with his mouth and believed in his heart that God had raised Christ from the dead for his justification. 5. He said Lord, please save me. I/We did nothing special, entertaining or magical, simply shared the Word of God. He, by and through the power of The Holy Spirit saved my grandson. Romans 10:8-17. V. 17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Unfortunately this grandson and two younger brothers will soon be the product of divorce. He along with his mother are temporarily living with my eldest daughter and her family who are attending a church I would consider "seeker friendly". I believe they teach and preach the saving gospel but personally question a lot of their activities. This church along with others within the denomination have an annual drive preparing Christmas boxes that are shipped out of the country. They contribute substantial amounts of money to foreign missions. There are fundraisers, mailings, they keep close track of church attendance, etc. Now the punch line. I have approached two different preachers of two different churches within this "seeker friendly" denomination explaining that my grandson's parents were not a member of any church and only rarely attended services in their area. I explained that he made what I believe to be a sincere, saving profession of faith and that according to God's Word he should be baptized. Each preacher responded similarly stating that in order to baptize my grandson he would have to "join" their church. Seeker friendly? More like "T R A D I T I O N A L Y" Friendly. So much for being a member of the "in group". The Acts 8 account of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch immediately came to mind as I heard their discouraging responses. What was Phillip's response to the eunuch when he asked: ".... See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (v. 36) "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." (Acts 8:37-38) Consider: Phillip was aware that the Ethiopian had left Jerusalem, was returning home and he would probably never see him again. I do not see any requirement for the eunuch to join the "First Church of Jerusalem" in order to be baptized. So what are my thoughts concerning "supposed" seeker friendly churches? "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Mark 18:5-6) Pretty serious stuff, don't you agree?
The word of God states that “the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” Acts 2:47. I believe that churches should be opened to receive new converts however the doctrine of the Gospel should not be compromised in the process. I believe that we should change with some of the trends i.e., open to woman wearing pants to church. However I do not believe that the churches of Jesus Christ should continue to create pomp and circumstances to keep the masse. I do not believe that is the Lord’s way of doing things or his approached to saving and keeping people committed to him. You are either all in because of what Jesus did for you personally on Calvary’s Cross or not. Constantly giving in to the masses brings me to the scripture where Satan tried to get Jesus to prove he was the Son of God by stating “if you be the Son of God thrown yourself down from the cliff”, because the word states that he gives his angles charge over you to keep you lest you dash your foot against a stone. Listen if Jesus had of given in to Satan’s antic’s one thing wouldn’t have been enough to satisfy him. The Devil would have continued to say do this or do that however nothing would have appeased him in the end. Jesus knew that, that’s why he said “it is written you should not tempt the Lord your God” (Luke 4:16) So yes I believe something’s should change in trying to boost your attendance in church. But being the court jester every week is out of the question
I believe there is an abundance of seeker-friendly churches in the United States. While they started being the exception, the exception now is a Biblically strong church that accepts the duty to convert and disciple. So now, we have believer-seekers and I'm one of them. I have to leave the church I've attended for 15 years because it's going seeker-friendly.
Hello, Churches should definitely be seeker friendly, but they shouldn't compromise on key points. Paul went out of his way to win people for Christ. He writes in 1 Corinthians 9: 19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. Paul seems to me here to be extremely seeker friendly. But, this isn't exactly church that he was talking about. He was more on mission work as far as I can tell. He did, however have a pretty clear formula for how to be seeker friendly: …24But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you. Most people don't really understand that this is an extremely effective way of converting the lost. If you haven't seen the power of prophecy, ask God to show you. Maybe even look up a sermon on it on Youtube. When someone gets a prophetic message, they can get converted really fast! So my point here is that churches should be seeker friendly. The way they should be seeker friendly is by asking God for the gift of prophecy so that people will encounter the living God when they come through the doors. I hope that helps! God bless you.
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