Jesus loves people and people are what make it to Heaven with us. My question is to reach people do the ends justify the means? The seeker church growth philosophy seems to think so. In order to get results, which is the measure of all things to the seeker philosophy, the Church becomes designed to suit the needs, style, preferences, likes, and dislikes of seekers. It is the church built on “like” or pastors using what people like to attract them. The new way of doing church is saying “If we give people what they are looking for in a church, we are more likely to get them converted then if we continue to ‘do church’ in the traditional way.” In reality, it is the like Aaron (Exodus 32) in the Old Testament or the church of giving the people what they want. Giving people what they want doesn’t always turn out good. Remember Israel asked for a king like all the other nations when God had ordained judges rule (1 Samuel 8:4, 5). The people got what they wanted, they got their king who was Saul, but how did that work out for them?
They tend to remove offensive names, symbols, and terms while downplaying doctrine making the goal of the service something cool, interesting, exciting, and convenient to seekers. Psychological well-being, healthy self-esteem, getting the best out of life, and being happy seem to be controlling values in the message themes. Some will even use drinking, smoking, tattoos, and profanities as gateway issues or hooks to attract young people. They will often use media advertisement that contains an element of “shock” value. Some even play young people against their parent’s church or their daddy’s church. Their daddy’s church has rules; this new church has no rules. Their daddy’s church has structure and order; this new church is “messy” and exciting. They have their own language and words they use over and over like a mantra: relevant, authentic, journey, dialogue, felt-need, organic, unchurched, genuine, seeker, and narrative, just to name a few.
Forget Bible words like holiness, cross, righteousness, repentance, sin, judgment, persecution, suffering, labor, serve, submit, hell, devil, and demons which are very clear and associated with the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16). They seem to have a disdain for the past and ignore the commands of removing not the ancient landmarks Proverbs 22:28. No one wants stuck in old, outdated methods, tools, structures, or technology but more than that has been changed in the name of changing the old wineskins.
It seems that in an effort to get results, be relevant, cool, and real they have created a consumer appetite for entertainment over preaching and teaching of all of God’s Word. They seem to forget that what you win people with is what you will have to use to keep them with and people’s appetite for entertainment constantly changes. As long as the present menu of services and entertainment provides what they want they will come and when it does not they will shop for better services and entertainment just like consumers do. Pastors and staffs start competing with other churches to stay on the so called “cutting edge” to engineer entertaining services. Competing like that is a work of the flesh and it will wear you out. Could this be why there is so much stress and pressure on ministers that it leads them to take sabbaticals they never come back from and others to just get out of ministry altogether?
The seeker philosophy is captivated with the idea that the church culture is the enemy, being culturally relevant is the highest value, and pragmatically doing whatever you need to do to get results is being on the cutting edge. The Church culture is not what is wrong with the Church; it is lost glory, power, passion, and an authoritative voice in society. Salt has lost its savor. The issue of what is wrong with the church is not cultural relevance, but a lack of passion for souls, praying for the lost, laboring in the harvest, making disciples, healing the sick, and supernatural power in demonstration Matthew 9:34, 35; 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 2:4, 5.