Mike, I found the article insightful, and the comments equally so. You really hit a soft spot here. I live in an off and on want to be church like that. The current model is on Service, others call it Missional…the modern definition. What I do observe is that in these churches there is a good deal of prayer effort and good intentions. But often the seminary training or conference driven models, or even “managerial” consultant influence dominates the decisions. And of course numbers do matter: whether to reach the so call “unchurched” or hold on to the “heavy” givers…..nobody really wants to drive them out. And more are always desired.
And often these churches actually become like clubs with member benefits, of friends and activities that are hard to leave behind, even if one finds that small Bible church not too far away. I know of one about 30 minutes away, but they are limited in supply….and almost impossible to influence people to check it out.
by Mike Ratliff
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober- minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV)
The proponents of the seeker-sensitive church growth model may very well have had good intentions when through it was spawned the rise of contemporary mega-churches such as Willow Creek and Saddleback Valley Baptist…
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