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Thread: Signs Your Church is Going Seeker- Sensitive

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    Tsk tsk Signs Your Church is Going Seeker- Sensitive

    After doing much research into the Purpose-Driven / Church Growth Movement / Seeker Sensitive teachings, and after discovering that under the tip of the iceberg, my formerly Bible-teaching church has been growing in this heresy out of sight, I'm posting this to warn others.

    This is not all-inclusive, but will give you more than enough information to give your church a "check-up". If you see one or more "red flags", you can be sure others are lurking. If you need more specifics, you can pm me. I pray this will help others have their eyes opened.



    The "gurus" of this movement are Rick Warren of Saddleback Church; Dan Southerland of Flamingo Rd. Church, who Rick has blessed as his successor in training others in his program; and Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church.

    The following is taken from Dan Southerland's book: Transitioning and page references are given where appropriate. This is what they're pushing:

    Southerland's Overall Steps to "Transition" your church:


    Change your Approach - from "Program Driven" (read: traditional), to "Pupose Driven".

    Change your Target - from reaching saved fellow Christians to reaching the "un-churched". (this is an oxymoron, since church is by definition for the saved. Is "jail" for the "un-jailed"?)

    Change your Leadership - Move away from an Elder/Deacon/Board leadership (read: Biblical) model, and have the staff make all the decisions. (IOW, let the people whose paychecks depend on the choices made decide everything. No matter that this may open them up to spiritual attack and make them vulnerable to unethical, even un-Biblical decisions!)

    Change your Pastors - From a senior pastor model to multiple pastors. (not wrong in and of itself, but they're using this to make up a new "board" of directors)

    Change your Ministry - From staff doing all the ministry to lay ministers doing the ministry. (again, it's not bad in and of itself to use lay-pastors, but they use it to increase indoctrination and "group-think")

    Change your Strategy - From no plan to a "Life-cycle process" that is "driven by small groups" (see more on this below)

    Change your Schedule - Have your services targeted to the "un-churched", and if you must reach the already saved, do it in a separate service. (Why confuse those poor pagans with true gospel and Biblical teaching?)

    Change your Small Groups - from traditional educational groups to "relational" small groups. (This is also used to increase peer pressure to accept wrong teaching, and as a format to "seed" in strategically placed proponents to apply pressure to members to conform.)



    "It concerns how we should relate to the world around us; how we make the gospel culturally relevant..." (pg 15)



    Direct Steps for Changing Your Church

    Put together a "Vision Team": A "small handfull of leaders". Choose mature believers, Dreamers rather than detail people, who are "trustworthy to keep their mouths shut" about your plans until "the time is right for it to be shared". (pg 77) Work quietly and secretly behind the scenes. (this to me screams that they know people won't want the changes, but they don't care - they're deluded into thinking they know best) It's preferred that members of the Vision Team are staff, but others can be used if they fit the profile.

    Prepare for Vision: 1) Collect information. Do surveys of your membership, your neighborhood "un-churched", and your community. (My church did the REVEAL Survey bought from Willow Creek) 2) Have a "holy discontent" with the status quo 3) Fast 4) Pray 5) Wait

    Defining the Vision: 1) Discover your purpose and develop a "Purpose / Mission Statement", (Gee, I thought our purpose was already defined by God's word? In my church, a "mission statement" appeared on the front of our Sunday bulletins) 2) Define your Target - ask "who is your primary customer?" "Don't ask who do we want to reach - this is too elitist" (pg. 51) (Supposedly, the "purpose" is given as a "vision from God". This is why they cling to it so ferociously. They also teach that God has a "different vision" for every church, yet they use cookie-cutter methods that supposedly fit Christians, Jews, Muslims, corporations, etc., and proudly promote this)

    Planting the Vision: 1) Secure the approval of the "Power Brokers". The opinion makers, either with formal roles in the church, or members. 2) Secure the approval of members who hold the resources you'll need to make the changes - money and talent. (In other words, the church will be run by the staff, the weathly and the powerful - wow, this is just sounding a lot like our government, no?)

    Sharing the Vision: (Now they finally come out of the closet and share aspects of the plan with others outside the inner circle!) 1) Share with church leaders left out previously 2) Let the "rank and file" know (I find this term insulting), 3) Take your leadership away on a "Vision Retreat" 4) Use the "Power of the Pulpit" to promote your vision & changes 5) Have all your Small Groups go through a "Vision Study" (remember what I told you above? This is indoctrination) 6) Repeat your Purpose Statement regularly 7) Require your leadersip to read "The Purpose-Driven Church" by Rick Warren (this book twists scripture like you wouldn't believe, and often uses Bible versions like the Message so they can say it supports their teaching. But hey, why would pastors bother to be Berean when the marketing for this drivel is so slick? )

    Implement Your Changes: 1) Plan to do it slowly - over a few years 2) Be strategic, with the least objectional changes done first 3) Take your "Key Leaders" as discussed above and put them in very visible places to help convince others. Have them show their approval so others will want to imitate it. (More indoctrination and group-think methods. These people are "seeded" into strategic locations.)

    Dealing With Opposition: 1) There will be opposition from those whom the enemy controls: (pg. 112) (Do you see the set-up here? If you don't approve of their methods, they're taught to see you as demonic. Just black and white. This is how cults set up their structure - "if you're not with me you're against me".) 2) Expect anger and a fight 3) Get members to pray for your church (In my church, we were thrilled to finally, after 20+ years, get a church-sanctioned prayer group started. Now I know it was just one of the "steps" )

    Pastors are taught that objectors are "Sanballats" whom Southerland calls "leaders from hell". He goes on to write "You cannot call this guy a leader from hell to his face, but you can call him a Sanballat". (pg. 115) (What a great, spirit-filled example to teach - call Bible-believing Christians who object to your man-made and unBiblical methods "leaders from hell"! Basically, they teach that you either Convince people the new way is right, you Fight them, or you Chase them off!)

    Be Willing To Let People Leave the Church: Southerland teaches that the traditional members who are pillars of the church can just hold you back from the changes, and fight your methods. He and Warren are proud of the numbers they've chased off. "When you set the vision and stay the course, you determine who leaves" (pg 127) (They don't care that their new "church" is a mile wide and an inch deep. It's only the numbers and the money that count in the long run, no matter how much they try to trumpet their desire to "reach the un-churched".)

    (I just found out that my pastor grand-standed in a Trustees meeting, when the Trustees didn't think a huge building project was needed or affordable. The pastor just told them that they either voted with him, or they were welcome to leave. I'm still in shock! )



    Other Changes to Make:


    Drop titles like "Pastor" or "Doctor", since they're too formal and intimidate the un-churched

    Dress Casually - no more ties, slacks dress shirts or coats. You can't appear "elitist".

    Use common speech, and drop "religious" words like "sin", "salvation", "judgment", "hell", etc. (No need to frighten those poor Seekers or have them feel any conviction in their hearts.)




    Below are other things Rick Warren teaches. These are taken from his website www.pastors.com where you can access handouts from his pastoral training seminars, and some are also excerpted from his book "The Purpose Driven Church."


    Teaching and Tactics


    Enlist Support from the "Legitimizers" in your church. (read: have them help you indoctrinate the "rank and file".)

    Get the people on board who are the easiest to convince - those younger than the pastor, and those who have started attending after the pastor took over. (read: lets go after those impressionable un-churched or those new Christians who as yet have little to no discernment)

    Call everything, every change, "an experiment". (read: fool people into thinking the changes are just temporary)

    Require all members to sign 4 "Covenants" The Membership Covenant, the Ministry Covenant, The Maturity Covenant and the Missions Covenant

    (I have a HUGE problem with this, as it is totally un-Biblical! We're told in many places in scripture that we're not to do this. One is James 5:12 "But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgement." Warren et al want people to swear loyalty to the pastor, the specific church, to tithe 10%, and to support the leadership no matter what so as not to cause "division". Again - this is like a cult! I've discovered some of these churches actually have credit card kiosks in their foyers, so even if people dont' have the cash, they can charge the requried tithe. Can you believe that?? Warren brags that people have sold cars and houses so they could be sure to make their tithes to his church)

    Use Christian Education to focus on your Purpose These are called "The Core" by Warren. Build your CE ministry around his Purposes.
    Class 101 - Intro. to our church family. Membership Oath required.
    Class 201 - Into. to Spiritual Maturity. Ministry Oath required
    Class 301 - Discovering my Shape (?) for Ministry - Ministry oath requried. Personality/Aptitude tests given.
    Class 401 - Discovering my Life Mission - Mission oath required. Everyone is either to find a volunteer job at the church, or is seen as selfish.



    Make your Purpose Statement in terms of results. Make it "Measureable", make it "Encourage Participation", and make the results a "Sequential Process". Warren gives the example of "Bring them in...Build them Up...Train them for...Send them Out!" (I was shocked to see my church's new purpose statement is almost an exact copy of this - "Win, Train, Send". We count every attendee at every service, every CE class, every social function, etc.)

    Come up with a symbol (read "logo") that everyone can identify with, and that will create an emotional reaction, as when people see an American flag. (This is all about marketing and emotional manipulation, and sadly, my church just came up with one. )

    When you're preaching, tell stories. Give them a vision so they can see themselves and identify with you.

    Change your Worship Music - use very contemporary music, and make it LOUD. If an unchurched person comes in and everyone is talking quietly, they'll feel "uncomfortable", but if everyone is shouting over the music, they'll feel more anonymous. Also, since Warren is going after the young adults, he says that they like to "feel" the music physically. (You know - the throbbing ears, the pounding heart, the floor vibrating - all those things that glorify God All sadly done in my church over the past year.)

    Change your Worship to less singing by the congregation, and more performances they can just sit back and watch. Things like musical performers, dancers, skits, etc. Seekers are uncomfortable with songs they don't know, and prefer to be passive watchers.

    Do a Building Project - Build it and they will come. Warren practically garantees that if you follow his slick marketing program, your attendence will increase by at least 20%. (This too has happened in my church, and many members left or were chased off because of it.)

    Drop the term"Sanctuary", and call it a "Worship Center" instead. Use moveable chairs instead of pews, so it can become a multi-purpose room. (Sadly, a done deal in my church. We also built a coffee shop )


    If you see even just a few of these in your church, I strongly urge you to do more research! As I discovered, what you initially see is probably just the tip of the iceberg! They're taught to do this in secret, to stand for no civil, Christian debate, to villify anyone with opposing views, and to see their own motives as pure and Biblical. The lack of discernment in these leaders is truly frightning! I'll bet they put more research into buying a used car than they do into buying a program that will turn their churches on their ears and invite satan in for a seat.

    I absolutely believe this is of the devil, and is another of his ways to persecute real, Bible-believing Christians. The evidence against it is just too clear and abundant, and is too easily accessed. Any pastor that wants to check it out could do so very simply. The scales on their eyes are just too thick.

    As I researched this, almost every discernment ministry recommended the book "Redefining Christianity" by Pastor Bob Dewaay. I bought it, and found it to be a wonderful, scripture-filled refutation of this drivel. You can order it from his website at www.cicministry.org, and bulk discounts are available. I bought several to start giving away to people who I think are open to the truth.

    I pray this lengthy post will be of help to someone.
    Last edited by watchwoman; August 5th, 2010 at 07:36 AM.
    Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are feeble-hearted, Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with a vengence, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you." Is 35:3-6

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    truthwarrior Guest

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    Great post!!!

    Will copy.

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    great post.

    a lot of willow creek association churches in my town of Omaha aas well as some non WCA churches here sound like the churches mentioned in this post.
    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)

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    I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
    For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor;
    no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

    Psalm 84:10-11

  5. #5
    heart_changed99 Guest

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    What do I do? We just joined a church that is teaching the truth of the Word of God, but they are leaning more towards being seeker-friendly, but they are not fully sold out..not yet. I'm thinking about making copies of the dvd series that OWL compiled together.

  6. #6
    StarofDavid Guest

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    Great post! it will be wise for all Christians to read this if they are part of a church, and save it for future reference, if there church decides to plan a change over. Hopefully we will all be gone before that happens though!

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    Thank you! This is helpful for my post earlier this week. This gives me many more flags to watch for. Fortunately I have not seen these come to pass yet.
    Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
    Coming again coming again maybe morning maybe noon maybe evening and maybe soon!
    Coming again coming again O what a wonderful day it will be! Jesus is coming again!

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    Exclamation How to Know When the Emerging Church Shows Signs of Emerging in Your Church

    The following is an Extract from How to Know When the Emerging Church Shows Signs of Emerging in Your Church
    Commentary by Roger Oakland
    There are specific warning signs that are symptomatic that a church may be headed down the emergent/contemplative road. In some cases a pastor may not be aware that he is on this road nor understand where the road ends up.

    Here are some of the warning signs:

    • Scripture is no longer the ultimate authority as the basis for the Christian faith.
    • The centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ is being replaced by humanistic methods promoting church growth and a social gospel.
    • More and more emphasis is being placed on building the kingdom of God now and less and less on the warnings of Scripture about the imminent return of Jesus Christ and a coming judgment in the future.
    • The teaching that Jesus Christ will rule and reign in a literal millennial period is considered unbiblical and heretical.
    • The teaching that the church has taken the place of Israel and Israel has no prophetic significance is often embraced.
    • The teaching that the Book of Revelation does not refer to the future, but instead has been already fulfilled in the past
    • An experiential mystical form of Christianity begins to be promoted as a method to reach the postmodern generation.
    • Ideas are promoted teaching that Christianity needs to be reinvented in order to provide meaning for this generation.
    • The pastor may implement an idea called “ancient-future” or “vintage Christianity” claiming that in order to take the church forward, we need to go back in church history and find out what experiences were effective to get people to embrace Christianity.
    • While the authority of the Word of God is undermined, images and sensual experiences are promoted as the key to experiencing and knowing God.
    • These experiences include icons, candles, incense, liturgy, labyrinths, prayer stations, contemplative prayer, experiencing the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of the Eucharist.
    • There seems to be a strong emphasis on ecumenism indicating that a bridge is being established that leads in the direction of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.
    • Some evangelical Protestant leaders are saying that the Reformation went too far. They are reexamining the claims of the “church fathers” saying that communion is more than a symbol and that Jesus actually becomes present in the wafer at communion.
    • There will be a growing trend towards an ecumenical unity for the cause of world peace claiming the validity of other religions and that there are many ways to God.
    • Members of churches who question or resist the new changes that the pastor is implementing are reprimanded and usually asked to leave.
    http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c54.shtml

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    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
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    Great post.....it is all around us!

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    Default Problem WIth Purpose Driven

    The real problem with the purpose driven seeker sensitive movement is that there are hints of wisdom in it. There is nothing wrong with trying to find direction in a church that has gotten lost as long as the direction is pointed on Jesus Christ. There is no problem in defining a mission of the church again as long as it is done Biblically. That is the Scriptures are the authority in all practices. There is nothing wrong with evaluating the methods that your church is using as long as the message does not change.

    When a person sees this side of the purpose driven movement and looks at the size of the churches who have implemented it, it looks very appealing. Digging under the surface of the movement shows what has already pointed out. One of Satan's greatest trick is not flat out lying but rather twisting the things of God, including God's wisdom, to draw people away from Christ. Take the example of looking at the method a church uses to teach. You can look at things like time of Service or Prayer Meeting and see is there a better time on those days to meet that would enable the Church to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus better and to more people. The problem with PD is that it finds fault with the wrong things such as stop talking about sin and only talk about what makes people feel good. And this is what Satan wants because if we stop talking about sin we will stop talking about our need for a Savior.

    Discerning leaders need to be on guard and to throw out what is evil and hold on to what is good. 1 Thess 5:21-22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jotham View Post
    The real problem with the purpose driven seeker sensitive movement is that there are hints of wisdom in it. There is nothing wrong with trying to find direction in a church that has gotten lost as long as the direction is pointed on Jesus Christ. There is no problem in defining a mission of the church again as long as it is done Biblically. That is the Scriptures are the authority in all practices. There is nothing wrong with evaluating the methods that your church is using as long as the message does not change.

    When a person sees this side of the purpose driven movement and looks at the size of the churches who have implemented it, it looks very appealing.
    yes, the dangling carrot
    Quote Originally Posted by Jotham View Post
    Digging under the surface of the movement shows what has already pointed out. One of Satan's greatest trick is not flat out lying but rather twisting the things of God, including God's wisdom, to draw people away from Christ. Take the example of looking at the method a church uses to teach. You can look at things like time of Service or Prayer Meeting and see is there a better time on those days to meet that would enable the Church to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus better and to more people. The problem with PD is that it finds fault with the wrong things such as stop talking about sin and only talk about what makes people feel good. And this is what Satan wants because if we stop talking about sin we will stop talking about our need for a Savior.
    and the poison inside the carrot
    Quote Originally Posted by Jotham View Post
    Discerning leaders need to be on guard and to throw out what is evil and hold on to what is good. 1 Thess 5:21-22
    agreed



    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
    Buzzardhut.net |The Watch Parables | The Rapture | Romans | The Virgin Mary | Roman Catholicism
    Never Heard of Jesus? | The Evidence Bible | Tent Meeting | The Beast/666 | The Kingdom of Darkness | The Nephilim

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    Thank you for posting this! As a military family, we have to move a lot, which means we have to find a new church home every two or three years. I will be bookmarking this one for future use! As I was reading through, I actually found myself getting sick. I realized that the church I grew up in . . . the church my parents attended faithfully up until about a year ago . . . has gone seeker-sensitive. I'd not read the Purpose Driven Church, and so didn't recognize what was going on during my brief visits home. The church is dying. People have been leaving in droves. My parents stuck it out for a long time hoping things would change, but finally left because the church members chased off a very good senior pastor who wasn't "bringing enough people in." But I think there was more to it. They've been putting together mission statements and visions and have really been trying to bring in the "un-churched." So, I totally see how they have been moving that direction for a while. I had no idea they were following the whole purpose driven thing, but now that I think back, I do remember some childhood friends of mine who never left my hometown (and who also left the church a while back) mentioning that the church leaders were studying that book and the church was starting to move that direction. So sad! It was thriving and such a Biblically-sound church when I was growing up. To see it dying like this because some misguided church leaders decided this was the way to go just breaks my heart. I am glad though that my parents have stopped attending and have found another church to go to. From what my mom tells me, it sounds like they are strongly Bible-based, but she hasn't really told me much about their worship style, leadership model, or what they teach. I'm anxious to visit and find out!

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    We need to gather information on how to rescue a church from seeker driven emergent type churches

    and make a battle plan workbook



    Revelation 22:17a The Spirit and Bride are now saying, "Come!" The ones who hear are now saying, "Come!" The ones who thirst are now saying, "Come!" so come LORD Jesus !
    Buzzardhut.net |The Watch Parables | The Rapture | Romans | The Virgin Mary | Roman Catholicism
    Never Heard of Jesus? | The Evidence Bible | Tent Meeting | The Beast/666 | The Kingdom of Darkness | The Nephilim

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    NewWorldOrder Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzardhut View Post
    We need to gather information on how to rescue a church from seeker driven emergent type churches

    and make a battle plan workbook
    ohhhh, I like that idea. How do we go about doing that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anddra View Post
    The following is an Extract from How to Know When the Emerging Church Shows Signs of Emerging in Your Church
    Commentary by Roger Oakland


    http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c54.shtml
    Thank you for posting this. I read the whole thing. I noticed Roger Oakland mentioned NavPress as one of the book publishers for emerging church material. Does anyone know any more about this? They came from the Navigators. My father has spent 60 years being in ministry with the Navigators. It was originally founded to bring the gospel to military personnel. My dad joined them in Europe while in the Navy. He left the navy for full time ministry. They were sound in teaching the gospel and getting people to get into the word and memorize scripture. But know they are promoting the emerging church? Please fill me in.
    Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
    Coming again coming again maybe morning maybe noon maybe evening and maybe soon!
    Coming again coming again O what a wonderful day it will be! Jesus is coming again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dleader View Post
    Thank you for posting this. I read the whole thing. I noticed Roger Oakland mentioned NavPress as one of the book publishers for emerging church material. Does anyone know any more about this? They came from the Navigators. My father has spent 60 years being in ministry with the Navigators. It was originally founded to bring the gospel to military personnel. My dad joined them in Europe while in the Navy. He left the navy for full time ministry. They were sound in teaching the gospel and getting people to get into the word and memorize scripture. But know they are promoting the emerging church? Please fill me in.
    Hi dleader,

    From The Navigators' vision statement, it looks like they are promoting cultural relevance and the social gospel. Here is part of it:

    We see a vital movement of the Gospel, fueled by prevailing prayer, flowing freely through relational networks, and out into the nations. Workers for the Kingdom are next door to everywhere!

    What characterizes this movement? A heart for the whole person . . . climates of grace and compassion for the vulnerable and broken . . . sacrificial unity embracing diversity . . . cultural relevance and sensitivity . . . interdependence with others in the wider family of God . . . transformed men and women, fragrant with humility and the aroma of Christ.

    They are marked by a deep engagement with and obedience to the Scriptures as the Word of God. They believe the promises of God. Both personally and in committed communities, they seek to know and pursue the purposes of God.

    Laborers and leaders are emerging, with an increasing passion for Jesus Christ. They demonstrate faith and courage as they live and move among their friends and families. As spiritual parents, they model authenticity and relevance...

    More info: http://www.navigators.org/us/aboutus.../Our%20Calling
    The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? - Psalm 27:1

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    When I moved to a bigger city, I was attending a larger sized church in the denomination I had been going to back home.

    The Pastor was spot on in his sermons, people truly loved God and were testifying all the time and it was a big church, but I could live with that.

    About 1 or 2 months after I started attending this church, the Pastor announced that they were going to start the Purpose Driven program, they were encouraged by another Pastor from the same denomination, but big church on the other side of the city.

    I never went back to that church again. They had started talking about growing and growing and growing for a couple of weeks and then introduced that they were going to do the Purpose Drivel stuff.

    It does not take a rocket scientist to see that canned sermons and "seeker sensitive" junk are not God's way of reaching the lost.

    Shame though, the Pastor had had such a passion for telling the truth in sermons.
    Psalm 30:11-12 (New King James Version)

    11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
    12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
    O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.



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    Quote Originally Posted by watchwoman View Post
    After doing much research into the Purpose-Driven / Church Growth Movement / Seeker Sensitive teachings, and after discovering that under the tip of the iceberg, my formerly Bible-teaching church has been growing in this heresy out of sight, I'm posting this to warn others.

    This is not all-inclusive, but will give you more than enough information to give your church a "check-up". If you see one or more "red flags", you can be sure others are lurking. If you need more specifics, you can pm me. I pray this will help others have their eyes opened.



    The "gurus" of this movement are Rick Warren of Saddleback Church; Dan Southerland of Flamingo Rd. Church, who Rick has blessed as his successor in training others in his program; and Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church.

    The following is taken from Dan Southerland's book: Transitioning and page references are given where appropriate. This is what they're pushing:

    Southerland's Overall Steps to "Transition" your church:


    Change your Approach - from "Program Driven" (read: traditional), to "Pupose Driven".

    Change your Target - from reaching saved fellow Christians to reaching the "un-churched". (this is an oxymoron, since church is by definition for the saved. Is "jail" for the "un-jailed"?)

    Change your Leadership - Move away from an Elder/Deacon/Board leadership (read: Biblical) model, and have the staff make all the decisions. (IOW, let the people whose paychecks depend on the choices made decide everything. No matter that this may open them up to spiritual attack and make them vulnerable to unethical, even un-Biblical decisions!)

    Change your Pastors - From a senior pastor model to multiple pastors. (not wrong in and of itself, but they're using this to make up a new "board" of directors)

    Change your Ministry - From staff doing all the ministry to lay ministers doing the ministry. (again, it's not bad in and of itself to use lay-pastors, but they use it to increase indoctrination and "group-think")

    Change your Strategy - From no plan to a "Life-cycle process" that is "driven by small groups" (see more on this below)

    Change your Schedule - Have your services targeted to the "un-churched", and if you must reach the already saved, do it in a separate service. (Why confuse those poor pagans with true gospel and Biblical teaching?)

    Change your Small Groups - from traditional educational groups to "relational" small groups. (This is also used to increase peer pressure to accept wrong teaching, and as a format to "seed" in strategically placed proponents to apply pressure to members to conform.)



    "It concerns how we should relate to the world around us; how we make the gospel culturally relevant..." (pg 15)



    Direct Steps for Changing Your Church

    Put together a "Vision Team": A "small handfull of leaders". Choose mature believers, Dreamers rather than detail people, who are "trustworthy to keep their mouths shut" about your plans until "the time is right for it to be shared". (pg 77) Work quietly and secretly behind the scenes. (this to me screams that they know people won't want the changes, but they don't care - they're deluded into thinking they know best) It's preferred that members of the Vision Team are staff, but others can be used if they fit the profile.

    Prepare for Vision: 1) Collect information. Do surveys of your membership, your neighborhood "un-churched", and your community. (My church did the REVEAL Survey bought from Willow Creek) 2) Have a "holy discontent" with the status quo 3) Fast 4) Pray 5) Wait

    Defining the Vision: 1) Discover your purpose and develop a "Purpose / Mission Statement", (Gee, I thought our purpose was already defined by God's word? In my church, a "mission statement" appeared on the front of our Sunday bulletins) 2) Define your Target - ask "who is your primary customer?" "Don't ask who do we want to reach - this is too elitist" (pg. 51) (Supposedly, the "purpose" is given as a "vision from God". This is why they cling to it so ferociously. They also teach that God has a "different vision" for every church, yet they use cookie-cutter methods that supposedly fit Christians, Jews, Muslims, corporations, etc., and proudly promote this)

    Planting the Vision: 1) Secure the approval of the "Power Brokers". The opinion makers, either with formal roles in the church, or members. 2) Secure the approval of members who hold the resources you'll need to make the changes - money and talent. (In other words, the church will be run by the staff, the weathly and the powerful - wow, this is just sounding a lot like our government, no?)

    Sharing the Vision: (Now they finally come out of the closet and share aspects of the plan with others outside the inner circle!) 1) Share with church leaders left out previously 2) Let the "rank and file" know (I find this term insulting), 3) Take your leadership away on a "Vision Retreat" 4) Use the "Power of the Pulpit" to promote your vision & changes 5) Have all your Small Groups go through a "Vision Study" (remember what I told you above? This is indoctrination) 6) Repeat your Purpose Statement regularly 7) Require your leadersip to read "The Purpose-Driven Church" by Rick Warren (this book twists scripture like you wouldn't believe, and often uses Bible versions like the Message so they can say it supports their teaching. But hey, why would pastors bother to be Berean when the marketing for this drivel is so slick? )

    Implement Your Changes: 1) Plan to do it slowly - over a few years 2) Be strategic, with the least objectional changes done first 3) Take your "Key Leaders" as discussed above and put them in very visible places to help convince others. Have them show their approval so others will want to imitate it. (More indoctrination and group-think methods. These people are "seeded" into strategic locations.)

    Dealing With Opposition: 1) There will be opposition from those whom the enemy controls: (pg. 112) (Do you see the set-up here? If you don't approve of their methods, they're taught to see you as demonic. Just black and white. This is how cults set up their structure - "if you're not with me you're against me".) 2) Expect anger and a fight 3) Get members to pray for your church (In my church, we were thrilled to finally, after 20+ years, get a church-sanctioned prayer group started. Now I know it was just one of the "steps" )

    Pastors are taught that objectors are "Sanballats" whom Southerland calls "leaders from hell". He goes on to write "You cannot call this guy a leader from hell to his face, but you can call him a Sanballat". (pg. 115) (What a great, spirit-filled example to teach - call Bible-believing Christians who object to your man-made and unBiblical methods "leaders from hell"! Basically, they teach that you either Convince people the new way is right, you Fight them, or you Chase them off!)

    Be Willing To Let People Leave the Church: Southerland teaches that the traditional members who are pillars of the church can just hold you back from the changes, and fight your methods. He and Warren are proud of the numbers they've chased off. "When you set the vision and stay the course, you determine who leaves" (pg 127) (They don't care that their new "church" is a mile wide and an inch deep. It's only the numbers and the money that count in the long run, no matter how much they try to trumpet their desire to "reach the un-churched".)

    (I just found out that my pastor grand-standed in a Trustees meeting, when the Trustees didn't think a huge building project was needed or affordable. The pastor just told them that they either voted with him, or they were welcome to leave. I'm still in shock! )



    Other Changes to Make:


    Drop titles like "Pastor" or "Doctor", since they're too formal and intimidate the un-churched

    Dress Casually - no more ties, slacks dress shirts or coats. You can't appear "elitist".

    Use common speech, and drop "religious" words like "sin", "salvation", "judgment", "hell", etc. (No need to frighten those poor Seekers or have them feel any conviction in their hearts.)




    Below are other things Rick Warren teaches. These are taken from his website www.pastors.com where you can access handouts from his pastoral training seminars, and some are also excerpted from his book "The Purpose Driven Church."


    Teaching and Tactics


    Enlist Support from the "Legitimizers" in your church. (read: have them help you indoctrinate the "rank and file".)

    Get the people on board who are the easiest to convince - those younger than the pastor, and those who have started attending after the pastor took over. (read: lets go after those impressionable un-churched or those new Christians who as yet have little to no discernment)

    Call everything, every change, "an experiment". (read: fool people into thinking the changes are just temporary)

    Require all members to sign 4 "Covenants" The Membership Covenant, the Ministry Covenant, The Maturity Covenant and the Missions Covenant

    (I have a HUGE problem with this, as it is totally un-Biblical! We're told in many places in scripture that we're not to do this. One is James 5:12 "But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgement." Warren et al want people to swear loyalty to the pastor, the specific church, to tithe 10%, and to support the leadership no matter what so as not to cause "division". Again - this is like a cult! I've discovered some of these churches actually have credit card kiosks in their foyers, so even if people dont' have the cash, they can charge the requried tithe. Can you believe that?? Warren brags that people have sold cars and houses so they could be sure to make their tithes to his church)

    Use Christian Education to focus on your Purpose These are called "The Core" by Warren. Build your CE ministry around his Purposes.
    Class 101 - Intro. to our church family. Membership Oath required.
    Class 201 - Into. to Spiritual Maturity. Ministry Oath required
    Class 301 - Discovering my Shape (?) for Ministry - Ministry oath requried. Personality/Aptitude tests given.
    Class 401 - Discovering my Life Mission - Mission oath required. Everyone is either to find a volunteer job at the church, or is seen as selfish.



    Make your Purpose Statement in terms of results. Make it "Measureable", make it "Encourage Participation", and make the results a "Sequential Process". Warren gives the example of "Bring them in...Build them Up...Train them for...Send them Out!" (I was shocked to see my church's new purpose statement is almost an exact copy of this - "Win, Train, Send". We count every attendee at every service, every CE class, every social function, etc.)

    Come up with a symbol (read "logo") that everyone can identify with, and that will create an emotional reaction, as when people see an American flag. (This is all about marketing and emotional manipulation, and sadly, my church just came up with one. )

    When you're preaching, tell stories. Give them a vision so they can see themselves and identify with you.

    Change your Worship Music - use very contemporary music, and make it LOUD. If an unchurched person comes in and everyone is talking quietly, they'll feel "uncomfortable", but if everyone is shouting over the music, they'll feel more anonymous. Also, since Warren is going after the young adults, he says that they like to "feel" the music physically. (You know - the throbbing ears, the pounding heart, the floor vibrating - all those things that glorify God All sadly done in my church over the past year.)

    Change your Worship to less singing by the congregation, and more performances they can just sit back and watch. Things like musical performers, dancers, skits, etc. Seekers are uncomfortable with songs they don't know, and prefer to be passive watchers.

    Do a Building Project - Build it and they will come. Warren practically garantees that if you follow his slick marketing program, your attendence will increase by at least 20%. (This too has happened in my church, and many members left or were chased off because of it.)

    Drop the term"Sanctuary", and call it a "Worship Center" instead. Use moveable chairs instead of pews, so it can become a multi-purpose room. (Sadly, a done deal in my church. We also built a coffee shop )


    If you see even just a few of these in your church, I strongly urge you to do more research! As I discovered, what you initially see is probably just the tip of the iceberg! They're taught to do this in secret, to stand for no civil, Christian debate, to villify anyone with opposing views, and to see their own motives as pure and Biblical. The lack of discernment in these leaders is truly frightning! I'll bet they put more research into buying a used car than they do into buying a program that will turn their churches on their ears and invite satan in for a seat.

    I absolutely believe this is of the devil, and is another of his ways to persecute real, Bible-believing Christians. The evidence against it is just too clear and abundant, and is too easily accessed. Any pastor that wants to check it out could do so very simply. The scales on their eyes are just too thick.

    As I researched this, almost every discernment ministry recommended the book "Redefining Christianity" by Pastor Bob Dewaay. I bought it, and found it to be a wonderful, scripture-filled refutation of this drivel. You can order it from his website at www.cicministries.org, and bulk discounts are available. I bought several to start giving away to people who I think are open to the truth.

    I pray this lengthy post will be of help to someone.
    This is exactly what our once Bible teaching church, Heritage of Rock Island has done.
    Colossians 1 :16 "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him" Colossians 1:17 "He is before all things and in Him all things hold together",

  20. #20
    NewWorldOrder Guest

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    This is my church's new and improved mission statement, btw, they added a vision statement. Does any of this sound "familiar":

    Vision

    Name of church is to be a church known for its worship services of Celebration and Praise; a place where People Can Be Lifted and Encouraged; a place where Special Talents and Gifts Are Developed and Utilized; a place where People Are Pointed to Jesus Christ, Our Living Savior, through Sound Biblical Preaching and Teaching.

    Name of church is to be a church known for its diversity of ministries which moves people out into the marketplace, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week; a place where principles of building up the body of Christ result in the empowering of everyday relationships; a place from which needs based ministries effectively touch every member of the family (children, singles, couples, parents and grand-parents).

    Mission Statement

    Our Purpose: Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

    Our Process: Love God, Love Each Other, Serve the World

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