Seeker Sensitive Services - Insights

I am just curious to hear anyone with interesting insights on this topic. This seems to be a fancy label for strategies meant for attracting people in order to build up congregations to large numbers. These strategies seem to provide concert like services, feel good Christianity, and convenient on premise personal services like counseling, oil changes, laundry, etc. Some people who are against this strategy complaint that church size must be small according to ‘biblical teaching’. What is the merit of such claim?

Any thoughts?

God Bless

i visited a very large church once with friends… it didn’t really
seem like church to me… another thing that really bothered me
was a sign on the door… no children under 12 were allowed
into the main ‘room’, as the services were being televised
and they didn’t want noise… the children were in a room
elsewhere, with a television feed comming from the

i’m not saying there was anything wrong with it, it just didn’t
seem… holy… to me… and since i’ve become Catholic, i’m
getting real used to that feeling of entering a holy place when
i come into the church…


I have no idea what people (Protestants I assume) mean by “church size must be small according to biblical teaching,” but I do think Protestant churches that pander to people with “Seeker Sensitive Services” aren’t doing anyone any real service except making it easy for seekers to come and go from the church as it pleases them instead of teaching them that the house of God is for his worship to which they ought to come to worship “in season and out.” Let the churches have outreach programs if they want to get out among the people not make the church into a multiplex entertainment center.

Yeah - if you have a huge church while still having proper preaching (remember I am coming from a protestant background so I’m talking about protestant churches here because i don’t know enough specifics about how different Catholic churches work) anyway then I don’t see a problem with big churches

the problem is when they start doing “self-help” sermons on how to do your finances in a Christian way, and never tell anyone how to have a relationship with Christ (even if you’re Catholic and don’t believe in a conversion quite like the protestants, I think you’d still agree that you’ve got to know about Christ and how to have a relationship with him right?) The church in question I attended also went to feeling very non-denominational even though it wasn’t, and wouldn’t have anything to do with the rest of the district, even though they pretty much controlled the district due to them being the largest church in the district and therefore giving the most money to the district…

Della, your insight into these types of services is right-on. A few years ago I was attending one of these seeker-sensitive churches, and there’s usually a small core of highly dedicated Christians at the center, but on the periphery are a lot of people who drift in and out as they please. They often focus Many Catholic (and even some thinking Protestant) apologists have stated quite accurately that such services are “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Quite true, unfortunately.


Seeker sensitive is a Protestant strategy for putting people in the pews by removing anything offensive and using moderns methods of entertainment to present the Gospel . . . or at least the un-offensive parts. The idea is to make new-comers feel welcome when they come in the door. It’s also a very “needs” based approach to ministry - make sure to have lots of clubs and groups to meet people’s social and practical needs. Preaching and teaching is focused on what God can do for you, and avoids topics such as the cost of discipleship and holiness.

Personally, I don’t like this approach at all. It forces the Church to water down the Gospel in order not to offend, but Jesus came right out and said that the Gospel will offend. We have to teach about sin cause that’s a major part of our mission, yet that WILL offend.

Plus, putting butts in the seat doesn’t mean we have comverts to Christ. I’m not against large churches as long as it’s filled with committed, faithful believers.

Jesus addressed this issue if you think about it. He was constantly followed by ever-increasing crowds of people. People who wanted to hear from the prophet and follow God, but alos those who were curious to see a miracle or to be fed by the loaves and fish. Jesus cleared out all but the serious seekers of God by telling them the cost of discipleship - his disciples need to eat the flesh of the Son of Man. I think that’s the approach we should take. Preach the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Those whom God is drawing will come, others will run the other way.