The greatest threat to the gospel specific to today is the indirect challenge of pragmatism among evangelicals.
-- Mark Dever
Some random personal opinions (of mine) related to this issue of pragmatism in the Church:
1) There was a point at which a considered concern for removing unnecessary traditional or religious cultural barriers between seekers and churches became a passion for doing "whatever it takes" to get people in the doors. I don't know where that point was, and I'm sure it happened gradually, but it obviously resulted from changing a focus from saving souls to gaining numbers.
2) Consequently, and somewhat ironically, the current equivalent of the 80's-90's seeker churches are not really bringing the lost into the life of discipleship so much as they are attracting Christians who have become bored with their previous church.
3) Consequently, many churches have become suppliers of spiritual milk not to new believers but to "old" believers who have never matured into the desire for meat.
4) Worship time has become more entertainment driven not as a means to attract the lost but to ensure that a church's "show" is better than all the other churches' shows.
5) The embrace of pragmatism affects nearly all of a church's aims, so that even the largest churches with the most resources do not actually plant new churches so much as they are franchising themselves. We see this currently with the satellite church movement, in which large churches with popular teachers do not raise up pastors to plant missional churches elsewhere but set up "spin-offs" where the main church teacher is shown on video screen.
This means that either a) really big churches with lots of money and personnel are somehow unable to raise up and train quality teacher-pastors, or b) they are able to do so but prefer the attraction of the celebrity quotient of their pastor. Either of those options does not bode well for the state of the missional church.
6) The first question we must ask when planning teaching, music, creative elements, fundraisers, marketing and advertising -- basically anything the modern church does -- is not "What will attract people?", but "What will glorify God?" Those two questions are not always mutually exclusive, but the second one should always, always, always come first.
7) Fidelity to the Gospel should always trump "whatever it takes."
An earlier version of this post appeared at BCC is Broken.