Monday, November 12, 2007

Who is Our Audience? What Does the Audience Want?

This link is so good it requires its own post.

Baptist Press covers Mark Dever on church "relevancy". Dig this:
"I would like to suggest that the most fundamental problem in the church is not that we are not relevant enough in relation to the world, but that the church is not distinct enough from the world. Our churches must reflect the character of God," said Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C, and a trustee at the Louisville, Ky., seminary . . .

"The problem with the seeker-sensitive model, emerging church model and even the traditional model that say, 'Get as many people into a room as possible and share the Gospel with them,' is that they view success in light of visible fruit," he said. "All three of these approaches say, 'Change your techniques and let's get some numbers.'

"Instead of being directed by [visible] success, we should be directed by faithfulness. We should say, 'If the Lord doesn't like our product, we will change the product.' We shouldn't take the idea that if we don't have X number of conversions in our church, then we must be doing something wrong. I am glad Jeremiah didn't think that. And I am glad that Jesus Christ didn't think that. Let us remember that we are following the One who was crucified as a revolutionary."

There's more, and it's all good and provocative.

Here is real church innovation: Making the point of worship the glory of God and making the point of preaching the proclamation of the gospel.

Who is our audience?
What does the audience want?

(HT: Church Matters)


Vitamin Z said...

We need to keep in mind that what some people regard as faithfulness is actually sin (like the people who hold up the "God hates fags" signs). Answering the question, "Faithfulness TO WHAT" is the key question to answer. If answered Biblically then we can say AMEN to Mark's quote here. Sometimes we are losing numbers in our church because we ARE doing something wrong and it needs to be addressed and changed. Just because you might be losing numbers doesn't mean that you are being faithful to God's desire for your church. I see Mark pushing back on an emphasis in many churches these days and I agree with him on that, but we just need to be careful we are not swinging the other way.

Jared said...

I don't think Dever equates faithfulness with "God hates fags." The charitable assumption is that he means "to biblical principles."

In addition, I don't think he'd also say losing numbers = faithfulness. I think he's saying numbers are not the point, faithfulness is. God will build his church.
To think he's suggesting swinging away from evangelism is to read into what he's saying.

Dever has a book on evangelism forthcoming, so clearly for him "faithfulness" includes evangelizing people.

Agree with you on being careful, generally.

Vitamin Z said...

Yeah, I agree. I think some of issue though (that I think Dever would agree with) is calling. Doesn't matter how faithful you are if you are not called to be a pastor or missionary. Seems like there are many guys out there who are "faithful' but have no business being a pastor simply because they don't have the gifts but have been enabled to serve.