SERMON TOPIC: Celebrity Christianity
Speaker: Gavin Paynter
Date: 28 September 2014
Topic Groups: SOUND DOCTRINE, SUCCESS, PROSPERITY
Sermon synopsis: A seeker-sensitive church tries to reach out to the unsaved by making the church experience as comfortable and non-threatening as possible. In effect these churches try to remove everything that may offend or turn away ‘seekers’ (formerly known as sinners or unbelievers). The focus is mainly on church numerical growth and the belief that a successful church depends primarily upon the staff’s ability to professionally and seamlessly conduct the meetings - rather than the presence of God. The 45-minute Bible-based sermon is replaced with a 20-minute motivational “feel-good” talk focused on self-improvement. It is aimed at addressing the “felt needs” of the congregation while continually stressing that being a Christian will dramatically improve your happiness and quality of life both at home and work.
Certain topics are avoided in order not to offend the big givers. Songs are eliminated from the worship which speak of man’s sinfulness, the cross or the need of a Saviour. Proponents say that the reason behind all the expense, state-of-the-art tech equipment, and the theatrics is in order to better reach the unsaved with the gospel. But it is questionable if it is the gospel that is being preached. God’s holiness, wrath and justice are not mentioned; only his love. Rarely if ever are sin, hell, or repentance spoken of, and Jesus as the exclusive way of salvation won’t be mentioned. Such topics are considered too “divisive.”
The focus of a seeker church in reality is totally man-centred. Actually we should have God-sensitive churches, not seeker-sensitive.