Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lessons from and questions for the seeker church

Kevin DeYoung has written a thoughtful reflection on James Emory White's new book, What They Didn't Teach You In Seminary. Dr. White is a mega-church pastor who happens to be in sympathy with seeker church movement. He is certainly an intelligent man who no doubt cares deeply about the church of Jesus Christ. DeYoung lists a number of lessons that we can learn from the seeker church. He also includes some vital questions for those within the seeker movement to ask themselves.

In his conclusion, DeYoung writes:

I’m not sure how to move forward with the impasse between the YRR [Young, Restless, and Reformed] world and the church growth world. No doubt, there are unfortunate stereotypes on both sides. For our part, we could learn from our seeker church brethren when it comes to administration, strategy, being honest about stagnation and lack of evangelism, and being sensitive to the way we are perceived by outsiders. We can be intellectually snobbish and blissfully unconcerned about whether the church grows, reproduces, or multiplies.

As for those on the seeker church side: I encourage you to read ten theological books for every business book. I encourage you trust in the word of God to do the work of God. I encourage you to listen not just to this culture of Christians, but to the centuries of Christians that have come before. I encourage you to explicitly, unapologetically love theology and teach your people to do the same. I encourage you to worship in such a way that it won’t be out of date in five years. I encourage you to use the language of Zion instead of the language of Collins. I encourage you to proclaim, not just to communicate.

And lastly, I encourage all of us to take a hard look at all the deep theological things we learned in seminary (or should have learned) and consider whether their seeming irrelevance is owing to the them, to our people, or to us.

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