I experienced the seeker sensitive movement up close and personal. In fact, I had the opportunity to serve as a groups pastor in a very successful seeker sensitive church. Seeker churches worked hard to create a safe environment where unbelievers could hear, what was perceived by those far from Christ as being, a dangerous Gospel. My life was changed in positive ways through this incredible movement/methodology.
Because the primary target audience was not yet followers of Christ, groups ministries lowered the expectation bar to just above surface level. After all, if an unbeliever was willing to come to a group we certainly didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable and they would most certainly feel uncomfortable if, 1) they weren’t doing the same things everyone else in the group was expected to do between meetings, 2) they couldn’t engage as an equal in the conversation that would take place at each group meeting, and 3) they were asked to do anything during the group meeting that believers should be doing, those things that need to be done to grow to spiritual maturity.
So… spending time studying God’s Word, memorizing God’s Word, being a witness for Christ, etc… between meetings was seldom if ever discussed and most certainly group members weren’t being mentored in or held accountable in these areas. Communal prayer times during group meetings were nearly non-existent as those who didn’t yet believe God existed or was at work would never come back to group if they thought they were expected to pray aloud. And Bible study was dumbed down to meet the need of the spiritually dead, at best the spiritual babe. And all of these things are necessities for a person to grow to full spiritual maturity
Bottom line… We fed group members spiritual milk and no one reaches spiritual maturity sucking milk from a bottle throughout their spiritual existence. If you’re always fed what spiritual babies eat you’ll forever remain spiritually immature.
I’m asking myself if the groups movement is dangerously seeker sensitive and in the process confused about what it means to make mature disciples. I don’t know the answer to this question, I’m just pondering this today.
You may want to check out tomorrow’s blog post. The title… Disciple Making Through Groups, Asking the Hardest Question of All.