Is Church for “Seekers”?

This is a misleading question, just as “seeker sensitive” is misleading as a description for a church. Churches are to be places of honesty, founded upon the truth of God’s Word and His gospel. Yet, there are many churches today that are guilty of such guile. Mind you, many of these churches might have had good intentions; however, by dismissing a vital truth of the Scriptures, many compromises have been made which, in turn, has weakened the body and has prohibited genuine spiritual growth in many of God’s people—all for the sake of trying to minister to the unregenerate—and worse, to build structures, organizations, and “empires” of which the Holy Spirit is not responsible.

The apostle Paul, quoting from the Old Testament, writes something that just grates against the pride of people.

As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” ~ Romans 3:10-12

Did you catch that? No one seeks for God. All have turned aside. This is not exaggeration, but it means exactly what it says. The very nature and consequence of our sin is departure from, and resistance of,  God and His ways. Whenever a Christian says, “I found God,” this is clearly a misunderstanding of what actually transpired. We are the ones who are found, not God. God is the One who seeks to find us, not vice versa.

The desire to evangelize the lost is a noble one; however, the motives of a church and/or pastor to simply grow a church, offer cool programs, or to feed the ego are not. Sadly, these are done, perhaps not maliciously, at the cost of feeding, nourishing, and growing the sheep of God’s flock.

Too many churches are more afraid of “offending” persons than God. Let us be clear on this, the gospel of Christ and the message of the Cross are offensive. The exclusivity of Christ as being the only way of salvation and that we are sinners worthy of hell are also offensive. However, the church does not exist to appease the masses, but it exists to magnify Christ and exhort, edify, equip, and encourage believers.

Consider the example of Jesus, Himself. After teaching that He is the bread of life and that no one comes to Him lest the Father first draws him, we are told:

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. ~ John 6:60-66

Note, nobody cares more about the lost than Jesus, but Jesus does not dilute His message for the sake of His hearers. His teaching to “eat His flesh and drink His blood”—to find one’s sole sustenance in Him—was grossly offensive to some who professed to be His followers. We are told that many ceased following Him, merely revealing they were not believers or regenerated. Nevertheless, Jesus does not compromise His message to keep any followers; instead, He let’s them leave.

So, back to the original question, is church for “seekers”? Before I answer let me say this, in no way should visitors be treated poorly or disrespectfully. However, no, the church is not for or about them. If they are offended by the truth of God’s Word, so be it. The church is not to lower God’s standards or dilute His message to make them feel more comfortable. And if they leave, they leave. At the same time, true believers deserve to be nourished and taught, to go from “milk” to “meat.” So many preachers have abandoned expository preaching and instead teach nice little series of messages, often with little substance (and in some cases none). 

Genuine “seekers” are first sought by God. Let Him use the preaching of His Word to convict the hearts of people and draw them to Himself. To dilute His message is to take away any potency, then all a person is left with is, perhaps, a nice experience with goose bumps, but no real encounter with the living God. What a lame exchange. Furthermore, don’t let the sheep and lambs go malnourished. These are God’s sheep and not men’s. Pastors and churches will one day give account for however they took care or abused His sheep and lambs—His beloved ones.