What happens when a seeker church discovers spiritual formation?
“Oftentimes the church or religious subculture has presented a style of Christianity that is not that much different and based on some of the values of the surrounding culture. The trick is, if you wish to present an alternative way of life, to actually be in the process of learning how to live that way ourselves.”
The challenge is learning how to live this alternative life and cooperate in the Holy Spirit in our transformation. Ken and Mike walked through this process when they transitioned away from being a seeker-friendly church.
In the 90s their church wanted to do a better job of reaching the unchurched. Their church was oriented around the weekend service which would provide a simple, captivating presentation of the gospel. This presentation of the gospel was intended to prompt a decision for Christ. The process of discipleship consisted of joining in the church organization and supporting the weekly presentation of the gospel.
This model became very successful for their church.
The problem that they began to discover was that their method of doing church was primarily a theatrical performance that they put on. Church was a product they offered to their congregation.
For their attendees they had built this expectation that church was about getting what they want. This is in contrast to a core teaching of the gospel – if we want to follow Christ we have to deny ourselves. We need to learn how to do well when we don’t get what we want.
They had these realizations, were asking themselves questions and decided that it was time for a renovation of the church.