Bible prophecy indicates a falling away from God’s Word in the last days, and for years, “seeker sensitive” ideology has watered down American churches. Driven by the thought that drawing the unchurched inside the doors of the church required being “less church-y,” emphasis was placed on offering more activities with a secular feel, high tech lighting and sound, fewer pulpits and more freedom to roam the platform, and Scripture splashed on big screens (making possession of a Bible unnecessary).
Understand, none of those things, in and of themselves, are necessarily wrong if placed in the right context and if used in a way that keeps God and His Word center focus. But the teaching of God’s Word must not be compromised, and over the years, sermons have become “sermonettes” in attempts to fit the “seeker sensitive” model, to reduce service times, or to focus on other elements. Are the unchurched truly put off by longer, more pointed sermons, or are truly hungry sheep in search of nourishment?
Covid didn’t help the situation, as churches scrambled to figure out how to “do church” in a lockdown society. Believers and unbelievers alike were locked out of opportunities to gather around God’s Word and many churches seem to have lost their way. It seems that failing to feed the flock causes the flock to seek pastures elsewhere, leaving struggling or lost sheep to seek fulfillment in places other than the church.
Could we be looking at a paradigm shift for the church? Does the traditional church model still work? Does the seeker sensitive model work? Might the church need to get back to Bible basics?
It appears American evangelicals are starving for God’s Word, and a recent study shows that 30% are looking for more in-depth teaching. Perhaps now is the time for a new paradigm…or more accurately, a return to church as defined by Scripture:
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.~Acts 2:42 (NASB)
Perhaps its time to get back to basics. What do you think?