Redirecting the Self-seeking

He stunned the room of peers, this pastor of a seeker-sensitive mega-congregation, with his confession: "I don't want my kids to grow up to be pastors. We've created a Christian entertainment business. The only way to attract people today is to entertain them, but after they attend awhile, no one wants to do what it takes to become a devoted follower."

In awkward silence we identified with the senior pastor's frustration. What do you have to do to get people to take Christ seriously? Most of us who see front-end results of pre-evangelism and evangelism find the back-end challenges daunting. What it takes to attract people today is not necessarily what helps them learn the sacrificial life of servanthood.

Are we presenting a bait-and-switch message? "Welcome, let us meet your felt needs: more meaning, joy, and family bonding. But after you've been here awhile, we ask you to pursue self-denial, sacrificial giving, and serious commitment."

The good old days, when people understood that coming ...

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