Thanks everyone for your feedback on the previous posts. I wanted to share some thoughts I had about both subjects.
Seeker Sensitive Worship
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. — Hebrews 11:6
Do we believe this verse? Do we believe that God rewards those who seek Him? If so, there are some pretty profound implications.
If this verse is true, our role as evangelists becomes more of a “tour guide” than a preacher; our job is less about indoctrination and more about pointing out where God can be seen. In “Velvet Elvis,” Rob Bell talks about feeling a great burden to “bring God” to the godless and his realization that God was already there. I absolutely love that idea.
So, how does that change the way we reach out to atheists, Buddhists and the disenfranchised? Is it by playing “relevant” worship or popular music? Is it by dumbing down the gospel message so anybody can understand it? Is it by removing all symbols of the Christian faith so everybody feels comfortable?
No, I don’t think so. I don’t think any of those things are going to help people in their seeking. It might make them comfortable with exploring this Christian thing we’re doing here in America, but I’m not sure that’s the point.
Before I cross into blasphemy territory (which is very easy to do depending upon who reads your blog), I want to hear your thoughts. If we believe (do we?) that God rewards those who earnestly seek him, how does that change what our churches do?
After reading Shaun’s account of going to Ethiopia and his interaction with the church there (which has doubled in the past 14 years), I can’t help but feel an unhealthy anger (which I’m aware of and will begin to work on upon the completion of this post) toward those who blame their lack of church commitment and/or involvement on this tired excuse. We are living in a sad time in the American church that is fostering—not fighting—a consumer-driven, me-centric mindset that is sickening.
I’m not suggesting that we adopt the ways of the 1950s-in-2007 church, but we certainly need to be calling followers of Christ to something significantly higher than “being fed” on Sundays during worship time.
So, question time again: How can we fight this “getting fed” mindset?
Thanks for your (forthcoming) thoughts.