HOW DOES THINKING LIKE A SEEKER EFFECT WHAT WE DO?
First, we must create a climate of acceptance from the moment they pull into the parking lot until the moment they leave. Smiling faces, warm "Hellos", firm handshakes, coffee and doughnuts all help seekers to feel accepted. Until they relax, they will have difficulty hearing the message. Make no mistake - we accept sinners, not sin. Our messages will challenge people to change their lifestyles.
Second, we must insist on quality in everything we do. This insistence on excellence applies to every aspect of our programming. This means that our singers must be able to carry a tune, our drama team members must be able to act, our instrumentalists must be good musicians, and our teachers must be able to teach. Gone are the days when desire alone qualifies people to do whatever they want to do in the church.
Third, we must avoid creating situations that are comfortable only for believers. e.g. alter calls, open microphone prayer times (canvassing the crowd), unscripted testimonials, old hymns done the old way, services that last much more than an hour.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT SEEKER SENSITIVE SERVICES
- Do people really worship at seeker-sensitive services?
YES. In reality, real worship does occur because people express praise, learn from Scripture, and make commitments. They also bring pleasure to God by using their worship to serve seekers. We want to celebrate and have fun on Sunday mornings and the excitement we generate is contagious. We are creating a paradigm shift from a "Serve Us" mentality to a "Service" mentality.
- Don't seeker-sensitive services water down the Good News?
NO. We will not water down the Good News to make it more acceptable to seekers. However, we will address the applicability of Scripture to real life situations in an understandable language.
- With all of this emphasis on quality and excellence, don't just a few superstars do all of the important stuff?
NO. We need to redefine the meaning of "important". Our goal is to move each member into meaningful ministry that matches their giftedness. Granted, not everyone can sing a solo, play an instrument or speak in public. These ministries may be more visible than other ministries, but they aren't more important. As far as we're concerned, the real superstars are working as parking lot attendants, greeters, hospitality, cleaning teams, and children's workers. Why? Because they create a positive first impression in the minds of seekers. Studies indicate many seekers have already decided whether or not to come back before the service ever starts.
- Things To Consider:
- If you're not a Christian, how do you feel about a church that places this much emphasis on connecting you with Jesus Christ? Is it helpful to know that GNG tries to create an environment in which you can discover Jesus and Christianity at your own pace?
- If you are a Christian, how do you feel about being a part of a church with a "service" mentality? Do you recognize the importance and the eternal significance of your service regardless of where you serve? Do you understand the fact that, though some ministries may be more visible, they are not more important?