People often ask me, “Are you a seeker sensitive pastor?” Many people today have some misconceptions about churches that use a contemporary style of ministry. They automatically think that a contemporary church is a seeker-sensitive church. This is a faulty conclusion as one does not equal the other. Although I would describe my ministry style and leadership as intentionally contemporary, I would not describe our services as seeker-sensitive. I believe that the church should be culturally relevant and yet doctrinally pure. You can and should be both. It is not one or the other.
When planning a services, I have four commitments.
1. I am committed to caring about people. If we genuinely love people then we need to consider the impact our services will have on them when they attend. That means the environment of the service is really important – the way we greet visitors, the style of music we use, the Bible translation we preach from, the language we use and the kind of announcements we make in the service.
2. I am committed to the message even when the message is not comfortable. In fact, sometimes God’s truth is very uncomfortable! Still we must teach “the whole counsel of God.” We will not limit what we say but we will speak the truth in love. We will never speak in condemnation or with condescension to our listeners.
3. I am committed to making both the worship and the message understandable. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit miraculously translated the message into words each person understood. The crowd of unbelievers said, “We hear them telling in our own languages about the great things God has done!” (Acts 2:11). This caused them to be converted. Even though God’s presence was evident in the service, they wouldn’t have known what to do if they hadn’t been able to understand the message. We will present a clear, biblical message that is delivered in terms people can understand and in a tone that shows you respect and care about them.
4. I am committed to the belief that a clear message coupled with genuine worship will open the hearts of people to the power of the gospel. As people feel God’s presence and understand the message they will walk away changed just as was the case in the beginning of the church in the book of Acts.