More trash talking on the Granger survey from the ODMs. This time it comes from Way of the Master Radio. Once again, I love how these guys spend so much time critiquing everyone else in the world. As if it was their mission from God to inform the world on the shortcomings of once church in Indiana. They are little better than paparazzi.

It all comes back to this (and I completely agree with Bill Hybels and the pastor at Granger over these results), the job of the pastor is not to feed the sheep. The job of the pastor is to make self-feeders. Here are just a few things going on a Granger in a given week that I picked up from spending one minute on their website:

* Midweek Bible Studies at 6:30pm
* Four Services on Sundays & Saturdays
* Weekly Small Groups
* Core Classes
* Ministry Teams to serve with

Are the ODMs really going to expect me to believe that if someone connects with these services that the church offers, they are NOT going to hear once that Jesus is the only way, or that the bible is the word of God? That there is just fluff and happy feel-good sermons at each of these things. Really folks? Use some logic here. It seems like there are more than enough opportunities to connect to the Word of God and to good Christian people with these events.

Todd asks the question of who is the shepherd and who are the sheep in his broadcast. It’s not the pastor and the congregation, it is Jesus Christ and His people. The truth is that there is a lack of self-motivation and self-initiative in ALL churches today, regardless of theology, style or tradition. While Granger is struggling get people’s theology straight, traditional First Baptist Boondocks may be ignoring the alcoholic father, the apathetic mother, and the kids that do all kinds of nasty every night with their girlfriends. I see it all the time when I travel, and those of you in small town, USA can probably testify to that.

The disconnect between church attendance and biblical living is certainly not reserved for those in seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, emergent, circus churches. It’s a problem we all face. And, until we get past all of our nice church facades and trying to save the Christian masks we hold so dear, our buildings will be filled with people who hear the Word, but are not transformed.

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59 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 3:11 pm

There is little doubt the shepherd has some resonsibility when his sheep are spiritually unlearned. What I completley find unacceptable and fleshly is when Friel runs snipetts of the pastors words and then mocks and even laughs like a hyena in total disrespect.

I found it laudable that the pastor stood publicly and addressed the polls, and I guess is instituting some changes designed to address those problems. This type of “shooting fish in a tank” Christian radio is nothing more than talk radio a la Rush Limbaugh. I guess why so many Chrsitians like Limbaugh, his self promoting, mocking, and demeaning type of broadcasting appeals to the flesh.

2   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
August 21st, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Same thougts as my last comment deleted earlier on the other thread.

3   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 3:43 pm

I approved three of your comments out of moderation about an hour ago, Ken – is one still missing?

4   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
August 21st, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Yes. It was addressed to my friend Coram Deo.

5   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Have any of the critics of Granger, Willow Creek and the REVEAL study bothered to find out what the REVEAL study is all about? It is a very helpful tool that any church can use to asses how effective their programs are in helping people to grow spiritually.

6   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
August 21st, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Eugene,
I wonder what the REVEAL study would show on their own churches. Ken’s church for instance…

7   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 4:10 pm

I approved Ken’s comment. Here it is:

I have chnaged my mind, you guys have been right all along.

Ken

(I need to cut down on my meds!!)

8   Joe C    
August 21st, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Nathan,

Couldn’t agree more. We need to make self-feeders, “mature” Christians who go out and get strong meat for themselves, and who by constant practice can distinguish good from evil. We need to make disciple-makers, who will find their Timothy and take them under their arm and pour out their life in to them. There’s so much crying over the pastor not ‘feeding’ the flock, or not ‘discipling’ the flock. Guess what, ain’t their job fellas. It just ain’t. It’s not how Jesus did his ministry, nor is it how he left the church to be run. Discipleship discipleship discipleship. It doesn’t happen 1 on 500. It happens 1 on 1.

Joe

9   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 4:25 pm

I have a few questions about the REVEAL study done at GrangerCC.

Who were the people being surveyed? Was the study done only on members of GrangerCC or did it include all attendees? (This can put the results in quite a different light)

The REVEAL study identifies four stages of spiritual development: Exploring Christ, Growing in Christ, Close to Christ and Christ Centered. What are the percentages of each that make up GrangerCC?

How do these percentages of the four stages corrospond with the percentages that are causing this uproar?

I am very interested in how GrangerCC and other churches are goind to address the highlighted probelm areas as we are planning to do the study next year at our church. From the REVEAL book and sessions we have attended so far it is clear that for each stage of spiritual development different methods are needed to help spiritual growth. The assumption that solid preaching alone will help or stifle spiritual growth over the full spectrum of spritual maturity is simply not true. As this survey is done in more and more churches we will learn more and I hope that this current negative sentiment from ODM’s will not stop other churches from making their results and spiritual growth plans public.

10   John Hughes    
August 21st, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Rick and Chris L, I tend to agree with your thoughts in general regarding an apparent and at times unhealthy obsession and general derisive tone that is being used by the referenced ODMs in regards to Granger and Saddleback . However, this “one church in Indiana” like that “certain church in California” both literally and figuratively MARKET their ministry styles and programs (even down to entire complete sermon series, programs and systems) to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars with the willful, designed and calculated intent to affect the behaviors of other congregations. What they say, do, and INTENTIONALLY propagate affects literally thousands of churches across the USA. So let’s keep this in mind when we cry for this “one church in Indiana”. Who watches the watchmen you ask? It is also legitimate to ask “who teaches the teachers” and just what are they teaching. Innocent victims they are not.

11   John Hughes    
August 21st, 2008 at 4:45 pm

P.S. This probably applies more to Willowcreek and Saddleback than Granger.

12   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 4:51 pm

John Hughes,
We have used many of Willow Creek’s and Saddle Back’s sermon materials. If you see what comes with it (study material, backgrounds for projection and much more) what they sometimes charge (they do not always charge) for it is very little. It also stays the responsibility of the local pastor/leadership to asses if what is taught is biblically sound. And contrary to what many say, those material are not just pop-psychology, fluff or whatever derogatory word they want to call it.

13   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 4:52 pm

No Granger does the same stuff. Anytime you hear about the Sex Series sermons, that is Granger. The push the stuff. Any and every church should be concern to christians we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and it is dishearting to see one of the most influental chruches unable to correctly teach its flock.

Also a note Grange had three categroies. Christ-centered, seeking Christ, and something else. I forget exactly. But the main point is people since the 80’s have been saying this will not help christians, this is not the way the bible says to preach, teach and basically do church and in the last year the PD churches are starting to realize this.

Chris R. Did a good show and is happy that Grange is starting to see this, which is great. But what is the big change. Bible study, the criticism is that you should of been doing that the whole time. But it is a good sign when large and powerful church start reforming. Praise God!

We will have to wait and see how much a reformation will take place, only time will tell. But always remember to keep them in your prayers.

14   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Here is the show I was talking about

http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2008/08/granger-communi.html

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 4:58 pm

John – I have some major issue with Rick Warren’s teachings and pragmatic approach to spirituality. But the issue is with what tone do we correct and admonish? And do we turn a blind eye to any good they do? And can we communicate without going to absurd rhetoric and hyperbole, not to mention personal attacks?

Ten people are trapped in a ditch. One man brings an inneffective machine and reaches down to help as many as he can escape. It becomes evident that only five can escape because the machine is faulty.

And this is the self indicting question that remains UNASKED:

Is it right for a person who isn’t attempting to reach those ten victims to completely discount the efforts of that man when he himself is neither reaching them or even disquited about not attempting to reaching them?

16   Nathan    
August 21st, 2008 at 5:15 pm

But the main point is people since the 80’s have been saying this will not help christians, this is not the way the bible says to preach, teach and basically do church and in the last year the PD churches are starting to realize this.

Kyle,
What you (and Chris R) are ignoring is the solution to this issue. It is not to suddenly change to deep bible studies so that people can “get fed”. Again, I can probably guarantee you that there are deep bible studies happening at the small groups during the week that everyone can get connected to. There ARE opportunities to grow there… the changes is motivating people to feed themselves.

Like I said — there is a disconnect that you can see between biblical lifestyle and biblical preaching in churches that have in-depth exegetical preaching. I have been to plenty of good ‘ol down home, hell and brimstone spittin’ churches that are filled with hypocritical members.

Bottom line… if people are not motivated to grow spiritually, no amount of good bible study will change them.

17   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 5:16 pm

But if the person is using a machete then all he does is cut off there arm’s and now there are in a worst spot then before. That is the problem they are using things not ordained by God to try and help people.

The Gospel you save them with is the Gospel you save them to.

18   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 5:18 pm

It is the pastors responsiblity to feed the sheep. that is why they are a shepard. But yes there are always tares mixed in with wheat. I don’t disagree with that, but it still does not excuse what the PD movement has done. there are still wrong for not teaching/preaching as command in the bible.

19   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Kyle – even if the gospel presentation is shallow, are youdiscounting the ministry of the Spirit to draw sinners to Christ? My best Calvinist friend got saved under a health and wealth preacher who endorsed Todd Bentley.

Why do I feel as though I believe in God’s sovereign power more than some Calvinists? People DO GET SAVED under Rick Warren. And the same way sinners get saved under MacArthur – ALL BY GOD”S GRACE!! :)

20   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Also ever church is full of hypocritics because we are all sinners.

21   CS    
August 21st, 2008 at 5:21 pm

“It all comes back to this (and I completely agree with Bill Hybels and the pastor at Granger over these results), the job of the pastor is not to feed the sheep. The job of the pastor is to make self-feeders.”

Hermeneutically speaking, where do we see this command as it is used here? I see that the pastor’s role is to both feed the flock and to also instruct them to feed themselves. I think of things like this:

“He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” John 21:16

“I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” 1 Corinthians 3:2

For a pastor to say, “Not my job,” like it was almost done in the WoTM audio clips seems to be in error. What do we expect then, for the pastors to never engage in feeding?


CS

22   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Yes I understand and am not denying that. This is still no exuces for purposefully twisting God’s word. Can a person be saved by the Chrsit in Islam, Mormonism ect…

RW teaching is salvation by works. Which we all agree can save no one. You will inheirt enternal life if you trust in Jesus and are good with fininaces, managing time, reducing stress ect…

I still do not see why it is okay to preach a false gospel even though God’s elect will still be saved. The ends never justify the means. But as you stated God will draw His people to Himself weher in a Roman Church, JW, LDS or even PD.

23   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 5:26 pm

“But as you stated God will draw His people to Himself weher in a Roman Church, JW, LDS or even PD.”

Wow! OK Kyle, you are now officially an heretic! :lol:

24   Nathan    
August 21st, 2008 at 5:31 pm

#1. shepherds DO NOT FEED SHEEP. They take them to places where they can eat themselves. That is the job of the shepherd/pastor. A shepherd, unlike a farmer, does not bring food to the flock. The takes the flock to food. Big difference.

#2. Please, Please, Please show me where Rick Warren has said anything close to “you are saved by works”

RW teaching is salvation by works.

You can accuse the man of many things, but this is laughable.

#3. Please tell me where the bible tells us specifically how to preach. The funny think is that Paul taught topically, not exegetical at all. He bounced from sexual immorality to marriage, to sex to finances.

there are still wrong for not teaching/preaching as command in the bible.

25   Kyle in WI    
August 21st, 2008 at 5:56 pm

This is on of the main sermons. This is a review of it. I know you won’t like it because it is Chris R. reviewing but listen anyways.

http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2008/08/the-purpose-dri.html

Also just read the PDL there is command after command of what we must do to gain salvation.

http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var1=ArtRead&var2=111&var3=main

Paul was writing the bible. But what did he instruct Tim and Titus to do. Preach the word, teach what you have been taught ect.. God has chosen the means to use to grow us in grace. Mainly the Lord’s Supper, baptism and preaching. It may seem foolish because it is. What should we desire to preach. Paul says the gospel of Chrsit.

So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not enduresound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

We are to preach God’s word in season and out of season. Nothing else for nothing else is suffecient to save men. No other method was given to draw men unto Christ.

Well talk with you guys later.

26   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Also just read the PDL there is command after command of what we must do to gain salvation.

Is that another version of PDL than the one I read, Kyle? Or did you read it with preconceived ideas about it? No where in PDL did Rick Warren state that the five purposes are mandatory for salvation. He actually states that salvation only comes through faith in Christ. Did you miss it?

27   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 6:25 pm

But the main point is people since the 80’s have been saying this will not help christians, this is not the way the bible says to preach, teach and basically do church and in the last year the PD churches are starting to realize this.

Yes, PD and seeker sensitive churches are imperfect but so are all churches. The seeker sensitive movement grw out of a frustration with traditional methods not being effective in reaching the lost. Now that some of their shortcomings become more public the churches taht are even more ineffective wants to throw accusations at them…

I think of the churches doing surveys to find out if what they are doing is effective as much more mature than churches that continue in ignorance. I think these accusations are childish attempts to draw attention away from personal ineffectiveness.

28   John Hughes    
August 21st, 2008 at 6:31 pm

John – I have some major issue with Rick Warren’s teachings and pragmatic approach to spirituality. But the issue is with what tone do we correct and admonish? And do we turn a blind eye to any good they do? And can we communicate without going to absurd rhetoric and hyperbole, not to mention personal attacks?

Rick I fully agree and thought I expressed that in some of my previous posts. After being convicted by the articles here I even had to stop using the title of “Pope Warren”. Dang! :-( I have tempered my analysis of things PDL.

29   John Hughes    
August 21st, 2008 at 6:34 pm

You see Rick if I still had my pre-conceived opinions I might have replied thusly:

Eugene: The seeker sensitive movement grw out of a frustration with traditional methods not being effective in filling the pews/funding mega evangelical country clubs reaching the lost.

But I don’t go there now! ;-)

30   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 6:40 pm

LOL John. You are starting to rival Rick in humour.

31   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 6:48 pm

I think speaking circumspectly is a fruit of the Spirit affecting our communication. The test of a Spirit controlled tongue is not how he treats his friends, but how he treats his “enemies”.

32   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
August 21st, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Sorry Kyle,

none of the references you gave showed where Warren preaches that you are saved by the things that you do. This is how all the rumors get started… one guy says “Warren preaches works based salvation” and everyone follows suit with no proof.

33   IWanthetruth    
August 21st, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Have any of the critics of Granger, Willow Creek and the REVEAL study bothered to find out what the REVEAL study is all about? It is a very helpful tool that any church can use to asses how effective their programs are in helping people to grow spiritually.

Yes and after spending 10+ years in a Hybel/Warren style church it proved my dislikes about that model church.

If you are going to open the door 180 degress for the “seeker” you’ve got to do the same for the believer. I have heard nothing but “milk” for those 20+ years and if I, out of desire to know the word of God and know God more, hadn’t studied both on my own and listened to some real good preaching/teaching from others not in this camp I probably would be no different than I was when I first became a Christian. And that is the problem that I see. Weak kneed believers because of milk! Many have left this particular church because of the “milk” and no “meat”.

In fact I thank God for the man that was my preacher in the 70’s when I was in high school that preached “real meat” from the pulpit, because it became the solid foundation for me to realize the error in what I believe is wrong with PDL Model, “seeker-sensitive” churches.

By the way, Jesus did tell the disciples to “feed my sheep” and to go into all the nations and make disciples and the bible says that it is pastors that prepare us for the ministry. How? By teaching us the word! So it IS NOT just up to us!

34   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 7:46 pm

IWantheTruth,
I asked if the critics bothered to investigate the REVEAL study not the churches. The REVEAL study is not another seeker sensitive method, it is a tool that can be used by any church to messure effectiveness of programs to encourage spiritual growth.

…after spending 10+ years …
…for those 20+ years …

Which is it ? 10+ or 20+?

BTW, I am happy to hear you kept growing in spite of not receiving what you felt was good preaching. Do not judge Bill Hybels or Rick Warren’s churches by your experience at your previous church. I know that both Saddleback and Willow Creek have programs for more mature Christians. The aim of REVEAL is to determine the effectiveness of these, actually all a church does for helping spiritual growth.

35   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
August 21st, 2008 at 7:49 pm

I have heard nothing but “milk” for those 20+ years and if I, out of desire to know the word of God and know God more, hadn’t studied both on my own and listened to some real good preaching/teaching from others not in this camp I probably would be no different than I was when I first became a Christian. And that is the problem that I see. Weak kneed believers because of milk! Many have left this particular church because of the “milk” and no “meat”.

You misunderstand what milk and meat is friend. Milk is second hand knowledge, it’s for instance the pastor teaching you from HIS study of the Word and you sucking on it like a baby w/ a bottle. Meat is for the mature who by constant USE can distinguish good from evil. Meat is what a person gets to when they ‘grow up’ and learn to stuff the food in their own mouths.

“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

Hebrews 5:11-14

Your motivation to study on your own is what matured you, and that’s solid food, just like a baby’s desire to pick up food and stuff it in to their mouth is showing a maturity level that continues to grow. Pastors don’t feed the flock of sheep, sheep are LED to pasture and they seek out the grass they need to eat themselves.

Likewise, a baby is breastfed, totally dependant. But if that child never gets off the teet and gets SOLID FOOD, they don’t mature. Solid food is for the mature, they feed themselves like mature adults. I hope this makes sense :)

Joe

36   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Here is a confusing reality thatI have often seen firsthand. I know many conservative Christians who attend very orthodx and even anti-seeker churches. I know many seeker type Christians who attend a variety of more liberal churches.

I have often noted that there doesn’t seem to be much difference in their lives as it applies to charity, missions, faith, and many other across the board fruits of the Spirit. Sometimes the seeker types are even more charitable and willing to help.

The only real distinguishing feature seems to be their opinion on things. Now why doesn’t that opinion translate into obvious revelations of Christ in their lives? Why isn’t the more conservative brother much more loving, much more humble, much more joyful, much more hospitable, and just much more like Jesus overall?

I am sometimes led to believe that whatever doesn’t translate into discernable works in our lives is nothing more than a doctrinal round table discussion which attempts to justify beliefs without works. The same people that define a sinner’s conversion by discernable works are so often void of robust revelations of the Christ they attempt to prove through doctrinal words without the powerful support of a life filled with undeniable manifestations of Jesus Christ.

37   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 21st, 2008 at 8:08 pm

I think something that is missed in the criticism of Bill Hybels’ comment of self feeding is the context. In an interview I heard him explain that they (Willow Creek) used to give the impression to people that ALL their spiritual needs would be met by attending the services and programs of the church. This created a scenario where people expected to be spoonfed even after growing to a level of maturity where these methods are no longer effective. The stuy revealed that they should teach people how to do bible study, get together with friends and find mentors in order to feed themselves. It is not as if Willow Creek are going to leave these christians to feed on whatever they find. I am very sure the programs they will work out for this “self feeding” will be well thought through and will not leave their members to their own devices.

38   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
August 21st, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Rick, I wrote a post about that called, “Because the Bible says so, stupid things Christians say.” and I was called a “Christian agnostic.” Be careful, Rick

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Joe – I would never admit to be an Christian agnostic, I happen to be a Christian gnostic because I KNOW! :lol:

40   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Iwantthetruth.

I have heard nothing but “milk” for those 20+ years

Here is my issue with statements like this. Most the time… in fact almost every time I encountered someone who stated this… also stated they left the church because they were not getting fed.

I always ask how long have you been a Christian… it is always 10 -15 20 years… I ask this. ” if a 10-15-20 year old person still depends on others to feed them, they would have something wrong with them right?” Why don’t you go and feed yourself and take that milk you were fed and turn it into meat and feed others.

Meat is when we take what was fed and put it into action… it is not sitting in a church listening to the pastor do all the work.

Most often these people are immature and easily offended…. I hope that is not true with you.

I was part of PDL /seeker churches that if one did more than just sunday mornings one could be involved on many different levels…. There were small groups, classes to study… and so on. Sometimes the teaching was shallow… as it should be for new believers and sometimes very deep… soooo really I am saying deepness and meat depend on you and no one esle… to blame ohters is to not be taking responsibility your own life in Christ…

iggy

41   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 8:58 pm

my comments seem to be lost in spam land…

iggy

42   IWanthetruth    
August 21st, 2008 at 9:18 pm

correction 10+ years

43   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 9:24 pm

iwantthetruth,

I made a comment on your thoughts but it is still in the spam catcher…

check back in a few…

iggy

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 21st, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Whatever happened to the irenic method of doctrinal dialogue?

45   IWanthetruth    
August 21st, 2008 at 11:21 pm

Iggy,

Don’t know how old you are, probably doesn’t make much difference but I am 56 and have been a Christian since I was 16.

I have been a part of many different churches from Baptist, Episcopalian, Open Bible, A/G , and 4square. I have been on the vestry or elder board of all but one of these churches and have had an opportunity to grow in Christ over those years and be a part of ministry in every church that I have been in. In the last church, I was on staff as a worship leader.

One of the churches I went to in my eraly days 1990 wanted to consider going “seeker-sensitive” and the board was 1/2

46   IWanthetruth    
August 21st, 2008 at 11:42 pm

(drat I hit the enter key – continued)
for and 1/2 against. I was on the against because I don’t believe that the church (meaning place to meet) is suppose to be for the “seeker” but rather for the believer to meet and worship the King sharing and telling of the things God has done in our lives and thanking Him for it. In Corinthians Paul says to be careful about tongues (actually it is a dissertation on proper orderly worship meetings) and not looking like “fools” just in case a non-believer should walk in. Mankind is not “seeking” after God but rather running away and to preach a watered down gospel is not being honest and fair to the non-believer. They need to hear the truth and that truth is not fluff but it’s about sin and unrighteousness and that state of mans relationship with God. I believe that Corinthians text indicates that it wasn’t expected to be a place for unbelievers to show up. I believe that we are to learn to live holy, righteous lives and do “evangelism” in the street, on the job, at the store, everywhere but the church is where believers come to focus on God.

With that in mind, it has actually been a challenge for me to be a part of a seeker sensitive church in the town I am in. Now I believe with all of my heart that God put my family there for a purpose and actually they were about (in my estimation) 30% seeker when we first attended but over the past years it has become about 95% PDL with Emergent mix. I disagree with it.

Comes down to this, I don’t believe that the theology it is built on, being semi-plegian, is a biblical theological stance, so my only recourse is to go where I fit.

Am I disappointed? Yes, I love the people of the church dearly. Am I to be obedient to God? Yes, I believe that the Lord has opened my eyes to some things that I had fallen into that are in error of proper biblical interpretation and I have had to repent of those things and move on.

My decisions didn’t come lightly as I had been 110% involved with the church. I was not hurt by anybody, I wasn’t even looking for what has occured in my life but after a full 3 year research into the word and also much on sites such as this and other and even a small conversation with R. Abanes I no longer believe “the model is right.

We agree to disagree?
Blessings

47   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 22nd, 2008 at 1:05 am

Don’t know how old you are, probably doesn’t make much difference but I am 56 and have been a Christian since I was 16.

I am 43 but what diff is that? I have also been in numerous denoms and churches… one of the best was a seeker driven as it seemed to care about the gospel and people… I had some issues, but none that would make me angry with them…

My point is that as Joe stated above… meat is when we do the works of Christ… when we personally disciple others… it is not going to a church and sitting there Sunday after Sunday.

Again, I hope that is not what you were saying. I never said that a decision to leave a church was easy… but most I have run into never made the attempt to move from milk to meat. I read you comment and that is what it reminded me of.

Again, I have issues with the model… but is it as so many paint it? Is it “evil”, “apostate”, “and heretical”? Is RW the new pope? Is he really the antichrist? I hope no is the answer to all that.

I realized that many are brand new babes at these churches…. I saw many come and get saved.

Now, most as they matured moved on… but that was to do ministry in other churches. The mature ones got involved and made a difference… the immature ones complained and went to a “church that taught meat”… which meant they could go and feed their own spirit and not have to get involved and do the real work of ministry.

iggy

48   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 22nd, 2008 at 9:55 am

Who were the people being surveyed? Was the study done only on members of GrangerCC or did it include all attendees?

(There are a few GCC folks that read this blog, so maybe they can answer if I misspeak.) From going back to their material when this was being conducted, it appears to be aimed at all attendees, rather than members. In fact, a number of the slides refer to “attendees” rather than “members”.

This gets to my earlier point about ODM’s utter ignorance on the use of statistics…

The REVEAL study identifies four stages of spiritual development: Exploring Christ, Growing in Christ, Close to Christ and Christ Centered. What are the percentages of each that make up GrangerCC?

That’s listed on slide 4:

Exploring Christ – 15%
Growing in Christ – 42%
Close to Christ – 22%
Christ Centered – 21%

How do these percentages of the four stages correspond with the percentages that are causing this uproar?

There’s a 1:1 correlation between the two populations. Remembering that correlation does not necessarily equal causation, this isn’t definitive, but it’s pretty darn close.

From the REVEAL book and sessions we have attended so far it is clear that for each stage of spiritual development different methods are needed to help spiritual growth. The assumption that solid preaching alone will help or stifle spiritual growth over the full spectrum of spritual maturity is simply not true.

Now you’re suggesting tailoring and relevance, which is anathema in much of ODM’dom.

Granted, we can pretty much show that Jesus tailored his methods and messages, depending on the audiences he was speaking with, but if you assume that the Bible fell out of the sky with no relevance to context, well then… (yeah, you get the point, I’m sure.)

49   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 22nd, 2008 at 10:02 am
“It all comes back to this (and I completely agree with Bill Hybels and the pastor at Granger over these results), the job of the pastor is not to feed the sheep. The job of the pastor is to make self-feeders.”

CS: Hermeneutically speaking, where do we see this command as it is used here?

I would reference:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The command to “make disciples” is a command to make “self-feeders”. It is not a call to make “converts” who need to be constantly fed – it is a call to make “disciples” (which is so much more than what we tend to make it out to be).

50   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
August 22nd, 2008 at 10:04 am

Kyle: RW teaching is salvation by works.

Please demonstrate this. Stating something idiotic like this doesn’t make it true. Of course that’s the problem with ODM logic of “proof by assertion” (if you say something enough times it becomes true) – it just doesn’t fly.

51   IWanthetruth    
August 22nd, 2008 at 3:20 pm

#49 Chris…

You left out “…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” of your own verse.

What does that mean to you? Teaching seems to me that it is also the responsibility to teach the things of God.

Goodness gracious, great balls of fire! Are we taking sections out of verses to proof here when the context means both. If teaching wasn’t an important part of this whole thing (discipling) then why is there going to be greater judgements for those who do teach?

I believe that the truth is both ways. It is our responsibility to show ourselves approved and to be able to rightly divide (teach?) the word and at the same time it is the responsibility of the pastor (the shepard of the flock who prepares us for ministry) to learn to rightly divide the word. It is all of our responsibility and frankly it’s a bit nerve racking knowing we will be judged for how we do teach.

I think this statement as “The job of the pastor is to make self-feeders.” means that yes it is your job to teach and feed the flock so that they/we can also go out and do the same.

52   IWanthetruth    
August 22nd, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Chris,

I just re-read your statement. Sorry, maybe we are saying the same thing….

53   EnnisP    http://taitoday.blogspot.com/
August 23rd, 2008 at 9:38 am

Hey IWTT,
This may not apply to you personally but the way some churches do Bible study is like telling a twelfth grader they did very good to get through the first twelve years but now they must do another twelve years of the same stuff so they can go deeper. And the cycle is repeated again after that.

Most Bible study programs DO NOT have a clear course of training with a graduation point in view. I know many will disagree but RW does have that kind of structure. He is referred to as humanistic and secular styled but really, it is just good organization, anti-confusing, and God honors that. If we trained medical doctors the way we disciple Christians none would ever qualify.

54   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
August 23rd, 2008 at 10:47 am

Correct Ennis. If Christians never learn to self feed (ie, self study, getting the solid food for themselves, and feeding it to themselves) they’re a little bit like a full grown adult having another adult cut up their steak for them and feed it to them on a fork. It’s a little weird looking…and it’s not God’s perfered way of having things work out in a Christians life.
We try to keep people as babies in our churches too much, and we’re hamstringing ourselves.

55   Bo Diaz    http://biblegateway.com
August 23rd, 2008 at 11:24 am

You evangelicals are funny. The idea that a “meaty” sermon will result in disciples is rather absurd. Sermons are clubs of communication, they do a great job at getting across large thematic communications, but are not all that good at much else. Anything that requires detailed communiques or subtle nuance is not going to work well. Both of which are requirements for producing quality disciples.

56   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
August 23rd, 2008 at 11:32 am

Bo, you are correct. Meaty sermons does not equal disciples. Getting one on one with someone and pouring your life and the Word in to theirs is how you make a disciple who will then be qualified to teach others (like Jesus did). 2 Timothy 2:2

57   IWanthetruth    
August 23rd, 2008 at 11:33 am

Ennis & Joe,

Thanks, I seem not be able to communicate my thoughts on this matter very well so I leave it at that.

I personally see a probem with this statement…

“It all comes back to this (and I completely agree with Bill Hybels and the pastor at Granger over these results), the job of the pastor is not to feed the sheep. The job of the pastor is to make self-feeders.”

I believe it is 1/2 correct or 1/2 wrong, which ever way you want to take it.

We agree to disagree.

I thank my Lord for re-kindling in my heart a desire and passion to want to know Him deeper through His word and relationship with Him and unfortunantely I didn’t get that where I was going but, took the responsibility to “self-feed”. When people leave a church because they want more then I think something is amiss and that is what I believe has happened at this RW/BH style church.

Blessings

58   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
August 23rd, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Just like any growing human being in physical life, all Christians need to take the responsibility to self feed. That’s my posistion, Paul seems to indicate the same. Solid food is deep teaching AND self-feeding. How can it be any other way, outside of being pew-lazy?

The pastor and other mature Christians are to be the ones getting the babies and children in Christ the ability to self-feed and get that solid food.

59   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
August 24th, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Thank you for those stats Chris L. Did you find it on GCC’s website?