Seeker Insensitive

Tom Atkins Evangelistic Association, Inc.

P.O. Box 701, Lavonia, GA 30553  Telephone 404-790-2184




Seeker Insensitive

by Tom Atkins

The key word today in the church growth movement is "seeker sensitive" or "seeker friendly" churches.  The premise is to make our worship services so friendly that when a non-Christian walks through the doors of the church they will feel right at home.  Therefore, the dress is casual, no coats or ties, and the music is contemporary.

Much of this movement is really great and I'm all for it.  I like the casual dress and the contemporary music (as long as you don't throw out the great hymns of the faith).  But, I am not sure all of this movement is good.  I wonder what happens to the visitor who comes in and feels comfortable.  Does the sermon make him or her also feel comfortable?

History professor Robert Wilken, in the Publication "Crique", makes a point that I think we need to consider.  Dr Wilken says:

"I think seeker-sensitive churches use a completely wrong strategy.  A person who comes into a Christian church for the first time SHOULD feel out of place.  He should feel this community engages in practices so important that they take time to learn.  The best thing we can do for 'seekers' is to create an environment where newcomers feel they are missing something vital, that one has to be inculcated into this, and that it's a discipline.  Few people grasp that today.  But, the early church grasped it very well."

I'm not sure I understand all that Dr. Wilken is saying, but I do believe he makes an important point.  Are we trying to make the non-Christian comfortable in a Christian service?  If so, I would contend that we are striving for the wrong thing.  I would say that a non-Christian should NOT feel comfortable in a Christian service.  Maybe that's what's wrong with the church today.  We are trying too much to be like the world.

Many Churches have become like Robinson Caruso's goat pasture.  The fences are so low and the grass is so high, you can't tell the goats on the inside from the goats on the outside.

I am preaching for revival.  A revival that changes peoples hearts.  A revival that makes people different.  A revival that's so contagious that when a non-Christian sees us, in or out of the church, they will say, "I want what they have."  You see friends, that's the only kind of revival that is of God.

Will you pray with me for that kind of revival?  I am committed to preaching for that kind of revival wherever I go.  But, I need your prayers.  I am convinced that nothing will happen unless God's people pray.

Thanks in advance for your prayer and financial support.  Thanks for being on my team.

In Him

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