Struggling Seeker-Sensitive Services

  The church that helped spawn the “seeker sensitive” church movement is changing the way it does church.  Willow Creek, with senior pastor Bill Hybels, first pironeered the seeker sensitive structure on a large scale.  Hybels leads a newwork of 10,500 churches and trains more than 100,000 pastors a year.  He has also been named one of TIME magazine’s 25 Most Influential Evangelicals.


In the fall of last year, Willow Creek came out with some results of a new study that shows big elaborate programs do not increase the amount of Christ-following disciples.  Hybels said:

“We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.”


Evidentally, people are not nearly as concerned with anonymity and low-pressure services as once thought.  Here are three things revealed by a survey:

  1. People want help understanding the Bible at a greater depth.
  2. People want help developing a closer personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  3. People want to be challenged to grow and take the next step in their faith.

So here’s a question I hope will stimulate some conversation in the “COMMENTS” section…


Let’s hear your comments!  You can read the new strategy for Willow Creek in THIS ARTICLE.




About Chris Stevens

I'm an Elementary Principal, husband, father of three, and an imperfect follower of Christ. I have eight years experience at the Jr-Sr High level and 14 years experience speaking at various churches.
This entry was posted in Leadership and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Struggling Seeker-Sensitive Services

  1. Ben Maulis says:

    The Lord said, “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.”

    It sounds like you can track your effectiveness by watching the people turn from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. If you want to see results, stand in his counsel and cause his people to hear his words.

  2. Justin says:

    They found out there were problems with the seeker sensitive approach of surveying people and meeting those needs and their solution is… MORE SURVEYING! That’s crazy. Let’s just get back to the Bible.

  3. Does the pastor have or want a deeper understanding of the Bible?
    Is the pastor developing a deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ, through prayer, fasting and a deeper study of His Word?
    Is the pastor being challenged by God to walk in deeper faith with Him?

    It all begins with the pastor, not with the people. The pastor, as the shepherd, leads the people in hearing what God is saying through him, not the reverse.

    Your answer is not found from the people, but through prayer to God.

  4. Michael Warren says:

    Although I look to my pastor for counsel and hear the word of God flow through him on Sunday services. I feel a greater desire to seek to know God with all my heart and all my strength. I believe that is when it becomes personal between God and me. I desire to have more of the word of GOD, not just what the pastor has for me on Sunday survices. SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND, KNOCK AND IT SHALL BE OPEN.
    John 15: 4
    “Abide in Me, and I in you, As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me
    What works for me with in the church is to see it being lived out and testified about in church. Seeing the fruit of others and hearing how they got to that point in their walk with Jesus motivates me to seek to have that kind of personal relationship with Jesus.
    Christs love!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s