Sunday, February 1, 2009


“As we commit ourselves to excellence in reaching people for Christ, help us to remember that the power is not in the methods or the means, but in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” ~ A.W. Tozer

In this day and age of Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive, culturally relevant, relational churches, it seems the primary objective is to get the person into church. If only we can attract the un-churched person into church and let them see that we're cool, relevant, funny and just like them, maybe then they'll like us and since we like Jesus, they'll like Him too!

And then what?

To be fair, I do believe that many churches want to see people get saved and become fully devoted followers of Christ. However, something has been lost in the process of attracting them with worldly methods instead of preaching the Gospel. We're more concerned about not looking like a church than we are in actually preaching and teaching according to the Word. We're afraid of offending someone or not being tolerant enough. Some even avoid using terms like "preach" because it sounds to pushy or in your face. Instead, we have 'experiences' and we 'communicate' a message. Did not Jesus preach the Word? (Matt. 4:17) Did not He teach the Apostles to preach? (Mark 16:15)

What have all these methods produced? As a result of marketing-driven church, what do we have? Large, attractive buildings with huge crowds. Is that the primary goal of the Gospel? Is this how we measure our success? It seems we have forgotten that the Church is made up of believers. Church should not be designed around the un-believer nor should it even be FOR the un-believer.

The notion that church meetings should be used to tantalize or attract non-Christians is a relatively recent development. Nothing like it is found in scripture; in fact, the apostle Paul spoke of unbelievers entering the assembly as an exceptional event ~ John MacArthur

Our purpose is clear; Glorify God. Our mission... Share the good news. Preach the Gospel. Reach the lost with the message of the Cross and magnify Jesus Christ in all that we do. Church is not about us. It's about Him. What we teach should draw people to Christ. How we live should draw people to Christ. How to have a better life is NOT the Gospel but, an effect of the Gospel. What attracts someone to church should be the desire to know God, experience salvation through repentance and faith and to grow spiritually. Needs oriented 'teaching' is not going to bring someone to Christ. No where in the Bible are we instructed to be constantly changing and adapting to the culture in order to reach the lost. Sure, we can deliver the message with a variety of methods but our focus should be on the message; not the methods. The level of excellence that so many churches strive to maintain tends to be more on the methods than the message. The result is a watered-down Gospel, weak or little spiritual growth and even false conversions.

Paul Washer reminds us of what church is supposed to be about...

“One of the most popular current errors, and the one out of which springs most of the noisy, blustering religious activity in evangelical circles, is the notion that as times change the church must change with them.” ~ A.W. Tozer

One former staff member of a popular mega church admitted that their church was "a mile wide and one-half inch deep.” (G.A. Pritchard- Willow Creek Church)

The Gospel message should be about showing people they are lost and in need of saving from God's wrath. Instead of trying to bring people to Christ to have their felt-needs met, It should bring people to Christ through repentance, forgiveness & justification. These are the real needs of mankind. The truth of the Gospel should expose sin, pride and self-righteousness, not be focused on building self-esteem or teaching people to be all they can be.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. ~ 2 Timothy 4: 2-4

What you win them with will be what is required to keep them coming.