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Understanding that we live in world where people outside of the church usually have different perspectives than regular attendees, leaders often say, “We need to be seeker targeted.” By this they usually mean that in order for a church to grow, each message must be directed to visitors, particularly non-Christians.

 

If that happens, a church will be filled with shallow believers who have learned how to enter the Christian life, but not how to live it. The job of the church is “the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12–13). That means most of the messages need to be directed to believers, so they can grow to maturity in Christ.

 

Rather than being seeker targeted, we ought to aim to be seeker sensitive. In other words, the make-up has changed over the years. Be aware of who is in your audience and chose your words and actions accordingly. For example, you may find it beneficial to put the Bible passage on a screen up front, use the term auditorium instead of sanctuary, say song rather than hymn, and refer to Bible text in terms of a paragraph rather than a passage. Additionally, use illustrations that everyone can relate to and limit your message time to 30 minutes.

 

Have friendly faces and voices direct visitors to an area of the church they are seeking to locate. Don’t single out visitors.

 

The bottom line—look at everything you’re saying and doing and ask, “Will someone not as familiar with our church feel comfortable, welcomed, and encouraged to come back?”

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