Culture At Large

Seven Points on Seeker Sensitivity

Chris Salzman

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This post is a few months old, but still relevant. The Philosophical Pastor points out some things you might have already known about how the seeker-sensitive model does church:

1) Attempts to incorporate highly-produced contemporary music into the worship services--without any professional players on hand

2) Attempts to incorporate drama--without competent, experienced thespians available.

3) Thousands of dollars invested in A/V equipment to support the above, and to broadcast Willow-provided video when the above proved to be driving people away due to its lack of slick professionalism (go figure).

4) Pastors preaching sermon after Sunday sermon to “seekers” …that weren’t there!

5) People who used to teach bible studies and other kinds of small group experiences recruited for drama, clicking PowerPoint slides, “servant evangelism” events (the seeker-sensitive version of product promotion - not to be confused with the kind of servant evangelism where the recipient doesn’t know what church you’re representing as you serve) and other kinds of newly created positions.

6) “Spiritual Gifts” inventories distributed that promised to determine where to place people in personally-rewarding kinds of busyness – which oddly enough landed most people up in volunteering to do something related to putting on the new brand of Sunday production…

7) Due to all of the above, decreasing numbers of “satisfied,” mature followers of Christ… and a slow trickle out the back door. Most really tried; but they just didn’t seem to “fit in” any more. They were called “immature” or “selfish” of course as they left (for not buying in to the program)...

I've been personally involved in 1 and 2 been to churches that do 3, 4, 5 and have been subjected to 6. I'm still optimistic though. I do think that for all the Church gets wrong (based on whatever standards you choose) most churches are truly trying to follow God.

That said, I'd still count each point as a potential pitfall. So, which of these have you run across? Any additional ones you would add to the list? Other thoughts?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Evangelism, Worship