You Can Reach More People In Your City if You Will Only Do What They are Doing

A local church in my city recently ran this “Pure Sex” advertising campaign to attract the non-churched to come to their services. They drove around the city with this banner on a trailer. First, I thought it was an advertisement for a porn shop. I was stopped dead in my tracks when I realized it was an advertisement to come to a church.

Does the seeker-sensitive model have no limits? Now our message to the lost is “Come here and we’ll teach you how to have a better sex life?” Is that the message God has entrusted us with?

1 Corinthians 15:3-5,11 ESV

3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”

Speaking about the other Apostles and what they preached:

11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Cross is the message we are to proclaim. Period. Get back to doing it.

D.A. Carson has said “I fear that the cross, without ever being disowned, is constantly in danger of being dismissed from the central place it must enjoy, by relatively peripheral insights that take on far too much weight. Whenever the periphery is in danger of displacing the center, we are not far removed from idolatry.”

Note to Carson, I think we are close to that now.

Side note: Consider this: Does anyone honestly believe the lost are going to come to church with their girlfriends so that some pastor can teach them how to have better sex?

What do you think? Did they go to far here?

If you really want to fill the pews, and don’t have to worry about maintaining any standards, why not have the meeting on Saturday Night and have a fully stocked open bar? Surely more people would come to church if you had a great band AND served free alcohol.

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If you would like to read more about this topic check out this article “Amazing Grace and Kool-aid Christianity” by my friends over at The Cross is All blog.  You can also read these articles on our site: Does God Care How We Worship?, Whatever Happened to the Message of Christianity?, The Seeker-Sensitive Model: Has the Quest for “Relevance”, Made the Church Irrelevant?

About Jim

Not For Itching Ears is a blog dedicated to discussing the American Evangelical church. It is a place for people to share their thoughts on a host of issues relating to this subject. Jim is available to speak at weekend services, and retreats at no cost to churches in Florida. Contact us for more information.

Posted on June 15, 2011, in Christianity, Contemporary Church Culture, The Seeker-Sensitive Church Model, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I agree. are we ashamed of the true message of the cross? I was worried about how to ‘get’ a certain person in my life to Christ. after much toying with the Lord and fretting on the matter I felt this calming in my Spirit. The message I felt the Lord spoke to me over a period of a few days in heightened worry over this issue, was this… you could lead(or force) the ‘horse’ to water but you cannot force them to drink! Don’t try to convince them, dont try to get them to church… be a living example, hold biblical standards, speak the truth in love, love them with the love I give you for them and pray pray pray… pray that they get so thirsty they run to the water and dive in head first…

    Jesus is the answer. period. his message is perfect. period. Thinking of the woman at the well whom Jesus met… how did he approach her? not some some wordly advertising campaign anyway!

    I no longer feel pressure about it, He took the burden right off me! He’ll show us how to talk to the people infront of us, he’ll give us the prophetic word inspired fired up teaching that will convict at heart level – when we seek him for it.
    He has already given us the relevant message we just dont trust it, we think we know better…that wont get us anywhere!

    Thats just my opinion anyway 🙂
    Love the site Jim, always enjoy the posts 🙂 keep up the good work!


    • Over the years I have learned that there are people all around us who the Lord himself is already dealing with. We cross paths with them every single day. If we just ask the Lord to bring them our way, and are faithful to share the Gospel with them, in whole or in part, he will. Period. Try it and see. Ask the Lord tomorrow morning to use you to share his message with someone. Then keep your eyes open. He will. It might not be obvious, but that is how it works We just don’t want to do that, so we invent clever ways to reach people in mass. All too often, they just don’t work.


  2. I definitely believe they’ve gone too far. But it’s deeper than the ad campaign. It’s their entire philosophy that is off base, obviously. I won’t even consider attending a church that features sermon series on how to have a better anything (unless it’s a better prayer life or spiritual walk). Furthermore, I don’t believe there is anywhere in Scripture that we are instructed to invite people to come to church. That is the lazy man’s way of “spreading the gospel.” Church is for believers, not lost people. The Church is the body of Christ.


  3. Amen. A (big) part of the church has ‘lowered’ its standards to reach the so-called lost, instead of living the ‘raised’ standard which is in Christ Jesus. We may as well have told the woman caught in adultery that we could teach her ‘how to’ have a better sex life ‘and’ with protection!
    This is why there will be a remnant of believers when the Lord comes! There will be the wise and unwise virgins. Guess who will be left out.
    It’s time to be praying, and to be prepared to preach the Gospel.
    It’s time to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and to show forth His power.
    It’s time for the Lord to come… come to His house suddenly!


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