One of our leading members brought this pamphlet to our attention: “Is Your Church Going Purpose Driven?” https://www.swrc.com/media/pdfs/Going%20PDC.pdf
He has a book out on the topic of the pamphlet too, entitled *The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church.* I can not verify the details contained therein such as whether Rick Warren is against the fundamentals of the faith (including virgin birth, atoning death of cross, literal resurrection, and inerrancy of the Bible) and whether Warren explicitly teaches pastors to disenfranchise lay leaders and isolate/vilify resistors. We hope we have misunderstood the claims that Warren’s organization has put pressure on ministries and book sellers to suppress this discussion. We understand that Hybels has repented of his teaching on “seeker-sensitive.” However, we certainly and clearly do see a general blandness and sleepiness in churches and we are concerned.
We know things are not good. We were amused a few years ago when we saw a church choosing to add a statement of denial (what they don’t believe) to their statement of faith. Of course, we have long been aware of a blockage in churches for any kind of application to the civic arena. We have observed with discomfort that expertise is often not wanted, but instead yes-men without expertise. We have very sadly observed that discipleship and Bible study have become a thing of the past in amazingly many places. We were shocked to discover formerly strongly pentecostal or leading charismatic churches are now both hiding and suppressing any sort of charismata.
Hutchings was a conservative Baptist broadcaster. Of course, I do realize that Noah Hutchings is mistaken in his claims about the Masoretic text versus the Textus Receptus. Overall, however, Brother Hutchings had a long, faithful and fruitful life and ministry. We do not have to agree on everything to take someone’s point.
Hutchings is making a good point, especially if taken in general: modern fashions in the church growth movement are enervating, weakening the church. Let us not be so concerned with numbers that we fail to actually be (let alone convert) Christians. Let us not be so seeker-sensitive that there is no reason for anyone to be seeking for God near us. Let’s don’t be snookered out of faith.
At Jesus Name, our model of how to do church is much less concerned with money and show and much more concerned about growth in God and reaching out in real community for others. We hope a model that sacrifices the niceties of space and art can grow more quickly. We hope that leadership that is more concerned with replication than return customers can evangelize and fission more quickly. We hope a model that adheres to the Bible more faithfully can be more fruitful in the eyes of our Lord.
And surely a church with Jesus Name as its name will not forget a relationship with the One who has shared His Name with us.