Servants Not Spectators

(By John MacArthur)  Pulpit Magazine

“I have often spoken out against all the pragmatic and “seeker-sensitive” approaches to contemporary worship because they tend to diminish the proper place of preaching and replace it with quasi-spiritual forms of sheer entertainment (music, comedy, drama, and whatnot). Any trend that threatens the centrality of God’s Word in our corporate worship is a dangerous trend.

But one of the most disturbing side effects of the seeker-sensitive fad is something I haven’t said as much about: When one of the main aims of a ministry philosophy is to keep people entertained, church members inevitably become mere spectators. The architects of the modern megachurches admit that they have deliberately redesigned the worship service in order to make as few demands as possible on the person in the pew. After all, they don’t want the “unchurched” to be intimidated by appeals for personal involvement in ministry. That’s the very opposite of “seeker sensitivity.”

Such thinking is spiritually deadly. Christianity is not a spectator sport. Practically the worst thing any churchgoer can do is be a hearer but not a doer (James 1:22-25). Christ himself pronounced doom on religious people who want to be mere bystanders” (Matthew 7:26-27). continue reading

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