“The problem in our day, which gives rise to highly questionable church growth methods, is twofold:
On the one hand, we are seeing a waning confidence in the message of the gospel. Even the evangelical church shows signs of losing confidence in the convincing and converting power of the gospel message. That is why increasing numbers of churches prefer sermons on family life and psychological health. We are being overtaken by what Os Guinness calls the managerial and therapeutic revolutions. The winning message, it seems, is the one that helps people to solve their temporal problems, improves their self-esteem and makes them feel good about themselves.
This is an excerpt of an interesting post by Chris Rosebrough looking at the purpose driven approach to church growth in light of scripture. It does ask pertinent questions. (Read first part here)
The Purpose-Driven / Seeker Sensitive model of evangelism attempts to attract so-called ‘seekers’ (Rom. 3:11) to attend a church service by radically changing the nature of church. Gone are hymns, and Biblical expository sermons. These have been replaced with culturally appealing rocks shows and practical self-help, felt-needs, life improvement seminars that contain a few ripped out of context verses thrown in to create the illusion that they’re based on the Bible. The model of fishing that Rick Warren is teaching his fleet of ‘fishers of men’ to employ is Bait Fishing. It is important to understand that the primary strategy of bait fishing is deception. Bait fishing deceives unsuspecting fish into believing that they are about to enjoy in their favorite meal but instead they find themselves being killed by a well hidden hook.
Chris Rosebrough has an interesting post. It does ask pertinent questions on evangelism, modern methods and the Bible. It begins:
Rick Warren, one of the innovators responsible for foisting the “Seeker-Sensitive Model of Church” upon the Body of Christ justifies his radical innovations by alluding to Christ’s statement to Peter that He’d make Peter a “fisher of men”. Evangelism, according to Jesus is akin to fishing. Rick Warren picks up on Jesus’ fishing theme and says:
“If you’re going to be good at fishing, you’ve got to learn to think like a fish. If you’re going to be an effective fisher of men, you’ve got to think like a lost person. Here’s the problem. Unfortunately, the longer you are a Christian, the less you think like an unbeliever. I don’t think like a non-Christian; I think like a Christian. In fact, I think like a pastor. That’s even worse! It’s two generations removed from the people I want to reach.
You can tell just how differently pastors think than lost people when you look at church advertisements in the newspaper. You’ll see advertisements like, “Preaching the inspired, inerrant Word of God.” Who will that appeal to? I know what the inspired, inerrant Word of God is. In fact I believe in it. I’d die for the inspired, inerrant Word. But non-Christians don’t care about your view of inspiration.
Or you’ll see a church advertise “Holy Spirit services.” That’s going to scare people away! Non-Christians don’t know what you mean by the Holy Spirit. Is that Casper the Friendly Ghost? You must learn to think – and communicate – like a non-believer if you are going to communicate the Gospel to them.
To catch fish, you’ve got to know their habits, their preferences, and their feeding patterns. Certain fish like smooth water. Others are bottom crawlers. Some like rushing water. Others hide under rocks. You’ve got to know what the fish you’re trying to reach like to do. If you’re going to understand and reach non-Christians, you’ve got to begin with their mindset. (Online Source)
What if Rick Warren’s fundamental premise about evangelism / fishing is dead wrong?
Jim Bublitz takes no prisoners as he writes this blistering
but deeply insightful article- Full Link here
That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? I mean, after all -who would honestly say that they’ve never sinned? Probably nobody. And since unbelievers already feel guilty enough over they’re past mistakes, then it goes without saying that we should spend the vast majority of our time preaching a positive message of Good News to them, rather than dwelling on the negatives. In this post, we’ll actually go inside of a prison and test-out this theory on convicted felons. If anybody ought to understand their own guilt and sinfulness, it would be real/live rapists, murders, and thieves, right?
Warning: Understanding the things in this video could challenge your entire view of ‘relevance’ in evangelism.
I’ve mentioned before my experiences in the church that I used to attend which, over time, transitioned into a model based on what is prescribed by Bill Hybels and Rick Warren. If I were to pick out one key reason why I left that church when I did, this would have been it. I knew there was something wrong when a year of time passes with very little mention of sin. Oh sure, bad habits were talked about Read More
In the never ending quest to produce the perfectly “relevant” Bible, I think we just made one big leap for man-kind [and one small step for God]. In a web exclusive I bring to you an excerpt of Paul’s letter to Timothy ….
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (TSSV) Today’s Seeker-Sensitive Version
1. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who is the only one who can judge us, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2. preach the gospel; be ready to be relevant to the needs of the un-churched; be excellent in all that you do, uplift each other with life changing events, worship the Lord above all, and do not cause division within the church because of doctrine. …There’s More!
Our Savior did not use any means which might enlist man’s lower nature on his side. When I have heard of large congregations gathered together by the music of a fine choir, I have remembered that the same thing is done at the opera house and the music-hall, and I have felt no joy. When we have heard of crowds enchanted by the sublime music of the pealing organ, I have seen in the fact rather a glorification of St. Cecilia than of Jesus Christ. Our Lord trusted in no measure or degree to the charms of music for the establishing his throne. He has not given to his disciples the slightest intimation that they are to employ the attractions of the concert room to promote the kingdom of heaven. There’s More
During a great war, there was a man who invented a parachute that was one hundred percent trustworthy. It made no difference whether the user was large or small; it opened every time and got him safely to the ground. The key was in the way it was folded. (story continued below)
The first lesson in successful marketing and entrepreneurship always underscores the fact that the customer is king. I have always told my self if I were to start a church it would be the world’s best church. It would be the epitome of tolerance and relevance. Who says the church cant be geared towards increased attendances, happier people with numerous self sustaining projects and great reputation among the un-churched and still bring people closer to God? Then Read More
Tough week as the weather regurgitated almost all the snow it had in its innards. And so did Wiki leaks threaten to unleash all the alleged secret thoughts and prejudices that the Washington administration forgot to mark as ‘classified’. It was reminiscent of goo-covered Jonah being spat from the belly of a fish -sea weed and all onto the shores of Nineveh. There is always that naked emptiness when our inner thoughts are laid bare and put to the scrutiny of a moral code. A feeling, ironically that, we have been wronged by the act itself however noble the intended purpose. Read More
There are many who say why emphasize sound doctrine? Why dont we just lay our differences aside, get along together and just love one another? Well, sound doctrine will divide and rightly so. It will seperate unsound teaching from sound biblical teaching. If you love somebody who is imbibing unsound doctrine you will alert him, rebuke him and earnestly point him to what is right. Depraved indifference urges us to keep quiet as our fellow man un wittingly drifts to their ship wreck and destruction. What would you do if you saw fellow Christians babbling in strange fires and delving in questionable practices? Read More
“I Finally Got Sent A Hillsong Video That Proves They Preach The Gospel . . . NOT!!” says Cameron Buettel a blogger who set up an interesting challenge. This is the what he found…
To his credit Troy did take up my challenge that no one else has responded to. He went looking for a solid example of someone from Hillsong church preaching the Gospel. I had burdened Troy with the responsibility of substantiating his claim that:
I can assure you that I’ve been to Hillsong quite a few times and have heard the gospel accurately preached. Yes, including the mention of sin and the cross. But There’s More
Its one thing to be a preacher it’s another thing to bring oratorical skills to the pulpit and blend it with perfectly choreographed gimmicks to bring hundreds to their feet beckoning for more stories. Doesn’t it just amuse you when a preacher walks to the pulpit with a Bible and then decides to close it as he begins the sermon? My favourite ones are those “anointed coat” swinging show men who blow into microphones and keep repeating over and over, “I feel the anointing of God is here”. But I must say the deadliest are those slick ones who slide past you and mesmerise you to the point that you don’t even notice that they sneaked into the pulpit without a Bible (not even a pocket Message Bible). And as you try to figure where the sermon is going to come from…BANG! He has hit you between the eyes with a “holy ghost” stunner and you are writhing under your seat with your tie choking the living day lights out of you. Read More
For those who do not know, I grew up believing in the Word of Faith/ Prosperity gospel. Yes Jesus died for your sins, proponents will agree in passing. But also (they will quickly add) he surely died to make you healthy and wealthy hence the adage the ‘health and wealth’ gospel. Any time the Gospel of Christ is alterred or diluted, it will always be substituted with a form of works righteousness. A set of things to do to achieve a higher level of righteousness, justification, anointing or endearment to God. There’s More
While muslims are teaching their kids to recite the qur’an cover to cover, lets see what Christian children get to do with their youth pastors. In desperate bid to appear relevant and cool some youth pastors seem to be krunking it up a notch. And sadly there’s little time or none spent studying the Bible. Or I could just be wrong. There’s More
There is such a “falling away” in the number of genuine conversions — we say “genuine” conversions because there are multitudes of those who come forward to shake some popular preacher by the hand, multitudes of card-signers, [hand-raisers] etc., etc. Hence it is that there has been such a sad and such a wide-spread “falling away” from the old time family worship. Hence it is that we now witness such a lamentable “falling away” from the mid-week prayer-meeting. Hence it is that there is such an awful “falling away” …. Hence it is that there is such a fearful “falling away” from the moral standards of former days. Hence it is that there is now such an ever-growing “falling away” from Sunday School attendance all over the land. Yes, the “falling away” has commenced and is already far advanced. There’s More
One of the most important questions for a Christian after where will I spend eternity and whom shall I marry is what church shall I attend? Well of course if you just need a joint where to spend Sunday morning ‘s hang over then you may as well a steer away from this site. Steer far away.
I was recently asked by a friend how to choose a good church. To be honest it is a head ache. Possibly a migraine of a decision. With the plethora of churches on the high street these days one needs a lot of prayerful patience. You probably won’t find a perfect church but a good solid Biblical church with sound doctrine is indeed a God send. There’s More
The butterfly effect is a term used in Chaos Theory to describe how tiny variations can affect giant systems, and complex systems, like weather patterns. For example, it is said that a butterfly flapping its wings in a jungle in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas.
A couple of years ago we leavened up the unleavened bread of Christianity. A little nip here and a tuck there. We created a brand of Hip and Cool Christianity not only smooth but market savvy. Relevant. We used reproducible and successful entrepreneurial church growth models to bring as many people into the church complexes as possible.
However, if the recent trend of events is anything to go by, it seems God has gone on a hiatus and left the youths playing peekaboo in the night. Recent statistics show that there is an increasing exodus of young people from churches, especially after they leave home and live on their own. In a 2007 study, Lifeway Research determined that 70% of young Protestant adults between 18-22 stop attending church regularly. Some critics have attributed this yo-yo effect to the perils of hipster Christianity. Read More