I have often heard those who do not attend what is known as a “Seeker Sensitive Church” bash them.
I guess the reasons are varying. They don’t look like our church so they must be the ones doing it wrong. It’s all soft and frilly messages, no meat and potatoes. They only talk about how much Jesus loves you and don’t give you the whole Gospel. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
All the Seeker Sensitive Churches I know of would also be calleg a Mega Church. So perhaps the reason some people talk down about them is simply jealousy. Which, I believe, is pretty close to pride.
When we (me, my wife and three bio-daughters) eventually left the Catholic Church we attended what is commonly called a seeker sensitive church in our town.
We were welcomed with open arms and were met “where we were” (spiritually speaking). We needed that at that time. We were clueless as to spiritual matters. Sure, we had down the pomp and circumstance and could sing a hymn. But actually worshiping God? Clueless!
I spent most of the first six months with my hands firmly planted on the chair in front of me as we stood during praise and worship. Eventually, the Holy Spirit was able to creep in and true worship began to flow. It sure was something refreshing and exhilarating!
After about a year of sitting under some good teaching and getting plugged in to various ministries each of our spiritual growth was unquestionably remarkably (especially if you would compare it with the decades we spent in the Catholic Church).
Now let me say right here that the Catholic Church is not responsible for where me or my family were when we decided to move on. Each person is (ultimately) responsible for their personal relationship with the Lord. And for anyone to blame one church or another or one pastor or another for their failure to grow spiritually is simply a cop-out. Period.
Eventually me, my wife and each of our three bio-daughters got involved in one ministry or another. We served and served and was blessed in our service to our local church and too others of the congregation.
We cut our “spiritual teeth” at that Seeker Sensitive Church. If not for that church we would not be the family we are or be the people we have each grown to be.
If not for that Seeker Sensative Church I doubt we would even be together as a family today.
After about six years I began to feel a prompting from the Holy Spirit that it was time for us to move on to the next spiritual journey in our life. But how could that be? I mean we were all so happy there. We had developed some pretty firm relationships both with pastors, staff and members. It would not be inaccurate to say that we were entrenched in ministry. It was really difficult for me to yield to His leading. However, after some serious prayer and fasting I understood why I was hearing the “time to move on” message. Pride. I was comfortable where we were. I had the confidence of the pastors, staff and senior members. They knew who I was and what I was all about. I just plain ole did not want to start over establishing myself in a new church where no one knew me or my girls.
After I understood what was going on I scheduled a meeting with the staff pastor I had worked so closely with for so many years. I explained what I believed the Holy Spirit had revealed to me. He confirmed it, prayed over me and asked the Lord to bless the next step of our spiritual journey.
That was about seven years ago. We are still close friends and talk often. That staff pastor is a man of faith and I learned a great deal from him; not only by serving under him and listening to his teachings but more importantly by being able to watch the confession of his mouth manifest time and again.
For example, just recently, he had been confessing for almost two years that he believed that the Lord wanted him to start a motorcycle ministry… but he did not own a motorcycle and of course did not have the funds to purchase one.
A couple of months ago at their monthly men’s meeting he was teaching on faith. As he was ending the meeting he was interrupted by one of the guys that works with him in ministry. There was a loud noise outside the entrance of the sanctuary doors. The doors and the local Harley Davidson dealer rode in on a brand new Harley, road right up to the staff pastor, shut off the bike and handed him the keys. Earlier in the day an anonymous donor paid cash for the bike and asked the dealer to deliver it to the staff pastor that night.
Now THAT is a demonstratin of a lesson in faith with an exclamation point at the end of it!!
So I guess what I’m saying is, we need to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and not the leading of our feelings or friends.
If you are not in the church you are supposed to be in, have some faith and move on. But don’t leave through the proverbial back door without having a conversation with the pastor. Meet with him and discuss your convictions and see what he thinks. Perhaps the two of you will be more blessed through your obedience and handling your leaving the church in a righteous manner.