Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Seeker unfriendly

I live in a medium-large Midwestern city, and today a billboard caught my eye on the Interstate.
Before, it had read, "Love God, but hate church? So did we. Lifechurch.tv"
Point of interest - the name of church itself is Lifechurch.tv. Not just its website.

...Sits back to let readers' jaws slacken...

OK, but now the billboard has changed. It now reads, "Lifechurch.tv. Not what you'd expect."

Let me ask a simple question. To whom should a church be "advertising"?
Trick question! How amazing to think that a church is advertising at all! But I digress...
For whom is the church?

Acts 2:42 - And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Are these actions in which unbelievers would participate? No - in this and dozens of other places in the New Testament, the church is clearly the place for believers to come together for worship, fellowship, proclamation of the Word, and church ordinances like the Eucharist.
So, I might expect a church to follow the biblical pattern (I know, I'm nuts, just nuts!). Thus, if Lifechurch.tv is not what I would expect, then what should I expect?
Does that mean that Lifechurch.tv will not indeed devote itself to the apostles' teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers? Certainly not to the apostles' teaching if it is advertising to get unbelievers to flock to its gates. Certainly not to the fellowship if the church is filled w/ unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14-15). W/ great difficulty to the breaking of bread, since the Eucharist is NOT for unbelievers.

So a reasonable answer to the billboard could well be: OK, it's not what I would expect. The church is what the NT teaches. This is no church. The church is for these things outlined above. The world is for evangelism and reaching out to unbelievers (1 Cor 5).

Agonising.

4 comments:

Tim T (Mali, West Africa) said...

Hi,
Interesting that you should have this post. Just yesterday I got an email from a high-school buddy and this is his church. (I assume he goes to the one in Edmond). So I went to the site. http://www.lifechurch.tv/edmond/location.php

And was quite impressed. They have posted Bible Studies for the Life groups that look to be very good. I plan on borrowing some of them for our study group here in Mali.

I would have to say that being that the billboard you saw was in Oklahoma City, a good percentage of the people that saw it ARE Christians and so their target audience may be those who are churched or at least grew up in church, rather than "the World" as you seem to have assumed.

That being said, I have never been to the church and have no way to do so from Africa, where I live.

Rose said...

I've been to that church. In a word: unimpressed. I've listened to several of the sermons they've posted on the internet (trying to gain a fair impression of them) and I'm even more unimpressed. They offer great advice but really seem to leave Jesus out of it. I feel like I'm listening to them give a topical practical lesson on how to deal with "something" (whatever the topic of the week) without getting close to the heart of the gospel. If I attended that church regularly (without other influence) I'm not sure I'd even know I needed to be saved. I might be living a moral life and gleaning some moral principles on how to deal with co-workers though.

T*ny and R*se said...

Hey, I really like this template. Which one is it?

David Bryan said...

Nice observations, bro. Especially about how the Church is to conduct herself.

Seeker-friendly is a joke; if something has to be "seeker-friendly," then those it attracts aren't really seekers, huh?