Dear Pastor

I know that you have a lot on your plate. You need to prepare sermons, organize a worship service, visit the sick and shut-ins and attend meetings. As society moves farther into the post-Christian era, it is harder to get people into the church. As many have noted, the attractional model no longer works and we must be missional. New people no longer just come, we must go out and get them. Churches need to be more relevant, more progressive in worship. Churches need to be seeker sensitive, not in the sense of watering down Christianity, but in the sense of realizing that new people do not have the Christian heritage upon which you can build. As pews become emptier and offering plates get lighter, there is much pressure to grow the congregation.

Letter

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There is also pressure to offer programs. Entertainment and other options are hard to compete with. Churches have to increase their offering of programs and ministries, continually focusing on quality and excellence. The church must be something that people will choose to be a part of rather than the other things offered by our culture.

I am not denying any of these things. But while the Church has focused on making church more enjoyable and easier for seekers to transition into, something else has happened, something that seminary probably did not equip you for. Atheists and other skeptics have become predators of our weak members. They have intentionally sought to weaken and even destroy the faith of Christians. And it is working. While pastors have been avoiding apologetics because of the excuse of not being able to argue people into the kingdom, ill-equipped Christians are being picked off. It does not matter if you enjoy apologetics. You have to decide what you are going to do. You may be able to love people into the church but you can not love doubt away. You need to do more than fill pews, you need to disciple and equip in such a way that your people will not fall at the first skeptical blog post, documentary or book.

What are you going to do?

 

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