Why Seekers Come to Church

In the '70s, Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, pioneered a bold approach to the Great Commission—to create a church environment that didn't feel churchy, to eliminate any unnecessary barriers preventing spiritual seekers from placing faith in Christ.

The effectiveness of that model has inspired a new generation of church planters, such as James Emery White. Five years ago, he planted Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, a church engineered to reach the seeker. In his book Rethinking the Church, White writes, "There is a pressing need for the church and its leaders to rethink why they do what they do the way they do it."

The seeker movement has had supporters as well as critics.

Leadership asked White to respond to several criticisms of the seeker-church model and to help pastors reach today's spiritual seeker.

What attracts a secular person to a seeker church?

His or her relationship with a believer.

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