Saturday, November 17, 2012

Some Sound Advice


Salt of the earth: Why "seeker-sensitive" and "relevant" can backfire by Weekend Fisher, HEART, MIND, SOUL, AND STRENGTH

"Seeker-sensitive" and "relevant" are the favorite mottos of many people who would make changes to the church in order to bring in more people who are unchurched. I know that "seeker-sensitive" and "relevant" can mean different things to different people. Speaking for myself, what I usually see from "seeker-sensitive" churches is "salt that has lost its savor". If a church makes a conscious effort to be like the world, and comfortable to those in the world, and unchallenging to those in the world, then it is no different than the rest of the world. There is no barrier, now, to those who would want to come -- and there is also no point in coming.

Think about sitting down to eat, and you reach for the salt shaker. If the salt tasted just like your food already tastes, would you bother with the salt? The reason we reach for the salt shaker is because it is different from what our food already tastes like. If the salt were the same flavor as the food, it would have no value to us. (Because some people delight in picking nits, I should mention: I'm not encouraging you to over-do the salt at meals; a healthy diet requires some measure of salt.)

I think that those who want to make the church "seeker-sensitive" and "relevant" by watering down the church's teachings are possibly well-meaning, but are taking the exact opposite direction from what would help. If we want people to reach for us when they want a change from the clearly-broken world, we have to be unapologetically different from that world. We have to be what Christ called us to be: nothing more, nothing less.

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