Seeker driven churches know how to draw a crowd...but is it church?

You decide which man has the better approach:

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, 30 years' minister of Westminster Chapel in London, fervent opposer of liberal Christianity, sound expositor of biblical doctrine with fire and passion in his delivery:
"When the church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message."
Or, Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Church: Founder of Saddleback Church, currently the eighth-largest church in the US, father of the manual of how to redesign both churches and services in an effort to bring more "seekers" through their doors, using worldly allurements to attract the multitudes:
"Figure out what mood you want your service to project, and then create it. (p. 264); We start positive and end positive. (p. 271); We use humor in our services ... it is not a sin to help people feel good. (p. 272); Cultivate an informal, relaxed, and friendly atmosphere. (p. 272); We made a strategic decision to stop singing hymns in our seeker services. (p. 285); We have attracted thousands more because of our music. (p. 285); Saddleback now has a complete pop/rock orchestra. (p. 290); Use more performed music than congregational singing ... (p. 291) (emphasis on entertainment); The ground we have in common with unbelievers is not the Bible, but our common needs, hurts, and interests as human beings. You cannot start with a text ... (p. 295); Make your members feel special ... they need to feel special. (p. 320,323)"
And this:
"The goal of The Purpose Driven Life is to help people develop a heart for the world."

As poet Robert Frost wrote so famously, "two roads diverged in a yellow wood" ... In this case, the road that Lloyd-Jones was on, the one that walks closely with Jesus, is measured and sober, one that is straight and leads to wisdom and understanding of His word.

Lloyd-Jones & Westminster Chapel
The other road leads to...well...none of the above. This is what happens "when a pastor chooses to entertain goats rather than feed Christ's sheep." (quote source). It leads to this:

HT Closet Calvinist via DoNotBeSurprised

John MacArthur said of the seeker driven movement of Rick Warren and his ilk, "They have figured out how to get a crowd and call it church. There's a big difference between a crowd and a church...big difference."

You decide which of the above is church...and which is a crowd. Then decide where you want to be when Jesus returns, with the crowd? Or with the church?


  1. Jesus used to draw great crowds, they came to get something. When He began to teach them what they really needed, most just walked away.
    Thanks by the way for your unwitting admonishment in your post.

    That was the catalyst for visiting a church in South Portland Maine. It has been there for a while and their main goal is preaching the Gospel.
    After reading your post and "popping off" I took advice from a brother and went. Thank you.
    By the way it is very small in attendance.

    1. LOL, Glad there was something happening I was unaware of but blessedly, Jesus knew all about! I love that the Holy Spirit ministers to us in all the ways He does!

      Have you visited So. Portland First Baptist? :)

      Have a great week, Jeff, thanks again for visiting.

  2. MyRedeemer_Lives! said

    Apostasy if there ever was one.. This foretold falling away is startling to behold, I never imagined that a church who is supposedly after Jesus is saying pushing these wordly sentiments. What ever happened to be being the salt of the earth?! People were drawn to Jesus bc of the words He spoke from God, while here we are assembling plays and rock shows to please the unbelievers better yet so we don't offend them..these mega churches will still be standing unawares after the sad..Lord please open their eyes to the light of the Truth which is found in Christ Jesus!

  3. Excellent article! The point needs to be heeded, but I doubt that it will be.

    1. Thanks so much Glenn...I have a feeling also that many will continue to jump around to the shark song instead of take church seriously.

  4. I used to attend a church that showed 'A Christmas Story' each year at the sunday service before Christmas. While that movie is highly entertaining, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the real story of our Savior's birth.
    They started doing other irrelevant/irreverant, things as well. Highly music-centered, not very Jesus centered.
    My husband and I have recently returned to the fundamental baptist church where we began over 27 years ago.
    (after drifting around in the sea of denominational taste-testing for the past ten years!)
    I have told my children to beware of the wolves in sheep's clothing...they are certainly out there inside churches.

  5. That shark song cannot be real life. I'm amazed at all those grown adults dancing along. This would maybe make sense at as a summer VBS service for elementary children. Maybe. It's simply mind blowing.

  6. In Acts 19, "The Church" - EKKLESIA - refers to an angry mob AND the City Council. We also know EKKLESIA refers to two or three gathered in Jesus ' Name. Personally, the smallest microcosm of The Church is a man and wife in their home. Church isn't a place you GO to; Church is what we ARE... at work, in a park, in a restaurant, in somebody's living room, AND in a cathedral. Here's The Church - The Church is the People. There ain't no pews and there ain't no steeple. Jesus didn't say "I came that you would have meetings and meetings more abundantly." NO! He came that we would have LIFE! In many 3rd world countries, The Church is growing tremendously UNDER PERSECUTION - not a church edifice in sight! It's about the Ordinary, NOT the ordained. Church isn't about "holy" people doing holy things on holy days. We are holy because Jesus made us that way. We are to be about BEING The Church 24/7, everywhere we are.

  7. Hello Blogging for Christ,

    Technically, you're right. The Bride of Christ is a worldwide consecration of born-again believers. However, we must gather *locally* to worship. It is a command that we do so. In many nations around the world, there is no building, there is maybe a house, or outdoors under a tent, or even a cave, as the case may be. In America we are fortunate, because up until now we have had freedom of religion and the freedom to congregate, so many people built churches for the biblically mandated congregating we are supposed to do. I hope you are, also.

    From gotquestions-

    " The Bible tells us we need to attend church so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth (Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:25). Church is the place where believers can love one another (1 John 4:12), encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13), “spur” one another (Hebrews 10:24), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), instruct one another (Romans 15:14), honor one another (Romans 12:10), and be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)."

    Yes we are BEING the church 6 days a week. The seventh is His day and He gave us instructions for worshiping him, together. So I hope you are worshiping Jesus in the way that is pleasing to him, meaning, somewhere in a building or other structure or consecrated location on the Lord's Day, with other believers, AKA GOING TO CHURCH.


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