Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Five Fold Ministry Goofs of the Seeker Sensitive Movement (Part 2)

“I believe in being seeker sensitive, it’s just that I only believe in one Seeker”
Paul Washer
Question 1. What is a local church in the biblical sense?

With this in mind it is worthwhile examining what a church is, in the biblical sense, and what its primary role is. The word church as it appears in the New Testament comes from the greek word “ekklesia”[1] which means “the called out”. They are a group of people that have been called out of the world into the kingdom of Christ[2]. So here we see that the church comprises solely of those who have been saved by Christ and He adds them to His church[3].
The word “church” appears in the Bible in both a global context and a local context. The global context is what Christ had in mind when He said “on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”[4]. In regard to that verse it is well worth bearing in mind Whose church it is and Who builds it. When Paul, for example, writes to the church in Rome we see the word church appearing in its local context. In Romans 16:16 where Paul says that “the churches of Christ greet you” he was not referring to different churches or denominations, he was referring to different congregations of the Lord’s church. This can be confusing to a lot of people who usually think of the church in terms of different denominations or congregations. But Scripture is devoid of denominations. The church, the Body of Christ, is made up solely of those who have been saved by Christ’s redeeming work on the cross and the local church is merely a small part of the greater whole.
Why have I mentioned all this? Because a biblical understanding of what the church is, Who it belongs to, and Who builds it certainly puts the modern “seeker sensitive church growth” strategies in a different light. This is not to suggest that local churches should ban non Christian people from attending their services, but rather that the local church service should not pander to the dietary needs of unregenerate sinners when it has been charged with the responsibility of feeding Christ’s flock with the meat of God’s word[5].
To Be Continued tomorrow - where we will deal with Question 2:
What is the local church’s role in the work of evangelism?
[1]G1577 ἐκκλησία ekklēsia ek-klay-see'-ah From a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2564; a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): - assembly, church.
[2] Colossians 1:13
[3] Acts 2:47
[4] Matthew 16:18
[5] Hebrews 5:12-14

Go On To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

1 comment:

Cameron Buettel said...

It is a shame we cannot measure the damge done by this philosophy of ministry . . . that we may avoid it for good as history marches on.