Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
The seeker sensitive movement arose in the 80s and was an attempt in the post-revival age, and a post denominational age where many were disenchanted with traditional forms of church, to reach the masses for Christ.
With so many people giving up on Christianity, what could be done to stem the tide?
As with the liberal project of seeking to accommodate culture at the expense of truth (which has failed miserably), the seeker sensitive movement, while in many ways laudable, attempted to do something similar and so fell short of its desired goal. Bands, skits, videos, cool preachers, etc, cannot in themselves save and transform and save, but rather a robust presentation of the Gospel and a life lived in light of God’s Word. The Willow Creek Church did a study on their brand of being seeker sensitive about a decade ago and discovered it was, “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Lots were coming to church, perhaps even becoming disciples of Jesus and joining the church, however, a committed level of discipleship was wanting.
This raises the question: what is the purpose of the gathered church in relation to the people of God (aside from glorifying God in worship)? The answer is to equip the saints (Eph 4:12) and to build up God’s people in the most holy faith (Jd 1:20). We gather as Christians to be scattered as Christians. Whilst in our gathered state should be enjoyable (which is different than entertaining) and not a strange world to a visitor who might come along (as described by Justin Martyr in the early Church) and a place where the Gospel is proclaimed, the gathered church’s purpose is nevertheless not evangelism, but discipleship. If our services seek to provide robust opportunities for worship and discipleship, primarily aimed at believers, but accessible to earnest inquirers, the result would be that our churches would not be a mile wide and an inch deep, but a mile deep… It doesn’t necessarily then mean we’d only be an inch wide (though I think even this is preferable to a breadth that may only be visibly “Christian”). What it means is the church will be so strengthened to fulfil the Great Commission that the place of evangelism and mission (not precluding evangelistic services or corporate acts of evangelism) would be in our homes and schools and neighbourhoods, and friendships as robust disciples of Jesus Christ. And THAT, is how the early Church grew so explosively.
So may we take Jesus’ command to make disciples seriously, be robust to that end in all we do, and as we seek to fulfil the GC, trust that the Lord will build His Church.
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,
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