While the trend of “seeker sensitive” churches seems to be past it’s peak, the idea has far from vanished. In fact, what we see with many churches today is somewhat of an evolvement of the seeker sensitive style.
The word “seeker” is defined as one who is trying to locate or discover. This type person is well beyond the target of most seeker friendly churches I have knowledge of. Programs that purposely avoid liturgy and anything with a church-y or religious feel, including the music, are actually focusing on the pre-seeker rather than a true seeker. A true seeker of God wants to learn about the things of God, ceremonial, traditional, or not. A true seeker of God is not offended by words like sin, but rather convicted.
Throughout scripture, (Deut. 4:29, Jer. 29:13, Lk 11:9 to name a few) we are told we will find God when we seek Him with all our heart. When a true seeker enters the doors of our church, we need to make sure he finds God and not the world there.
It is important to remember there are various degrees or levels of seekers. Some might start out with a simple curiosity about God or church. And what about those who are looking for something, but haven't realized yet it's God they are really seeking?
A.W. Tozer in his classic In Pursuit of God states the following about a seeker. "Before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man. Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment done within him; imperfect it may be, but a true work nonetheless, and the secret cause of all desiring and seeking and praying which may follow." This is basic gospel. Jesus tells us in John 6:44, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him."
So are we wasting time and energy striving to make our church services appealing to the unchurched, post-Christian generations of today? If we are spending considerable time and energy trying to attract people God isn't dealing with, I suppose so. While every church has its own personality that appeals to different groups of people, there will be various levels of seekers among those groups. This brings about a responsibility to encourage attendees toward a continually deepening relationship with Jesus Christ, and that requires more than secular song analogies and self-help teaching.
Our goal should always be to make sure that everyone who enters the church feels loved, but that does not mean we should make the service comfortable for them. Remember, the Truth is like a two-edged sword. That's not comfortable.
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