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Seeker sensitivity

April 12th, 2009

It’s some years now since the seeker-sensitive approach to worship in particular, and to church life in general, gained a following in the UK. Even though many pastors and churches claim to have benefited from re-thinking their approach along seeker-sensitive lines, it continues to attract criticism. Witness this classic piece from R.C. Sproul who could never be accused of sitting on the fence. He is ably supported by Albert Mohler.

The bigger question for mainstream denominations like the Presbyterian Church in Ireland is how to re-connect with both the un-churched and the de-churched. It’s easy for ministers and elders who see their congregations declining to attempt a quick fix. It’s worth remembering that there is both a vertical and a horizontal dimension to worship, and that in the planning of worship, as well as being God-centred, we must seek to be intelligible to those who attend. There is no excuse for music and preaching that are meaningless and dull. But it may be that, as one of my former colleagues used to say, being seeker-sensitive is simply trying to arrange a coffee party for people who don’t like coffee.

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