The Church: Meeting needs or introducing God?

Here’s a thought-provoking quote I found among my resources… it’s stiring something in me even now… 

As the church today gets more and more hip–more and more need-oriented, responding to the buttons that people push in their pews–I find myself longing for more of a historical faith. I find myself not wanting to have everything explained to me in simple terms. 

I’m not even sure I want all my needs met as much as I want to meet God, and sometimes I wonder if he’s really interested in the noise of our contemporary clamoring. Like my dog who can’t seem to get anywhere because he keeps having to stop and scratch his fleas, I wonder if we are so busy scratching where everybody itches that we aren’t taking anybody anywhere significant.

John Fischer in “Longing for Something Old” (Covenant Companion, Oct. 1992).  Christianity Today, Vol. 37, no. 5.

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One thought on “The Church: Meeting needs or introducing God?

  1. G’day Carey,
    I agree with your comments about scratching what itches rather than concentrating on where we’re going. I’ve heard it put in terms of ‘perceived needs’ and ‘real needs’. The church (& our evangelism) needs to present God’s word & the gospel (the real need) while still connecting with where people are at. Post-modern people don’t care about the truth of the gospel unless they can see it working in our lives. People can’t see how the gospel works in our lives unless we have a real relationship with them – and this definitely can’t happen during one talk. My church takes a ‘perceived need’ of ‘wanting better relationships’ and connects it with ‘having ultimate relationships’ – namely a relationship with God through Christ. It’s a course where we develop relationships over about 9 weeks and week by week present the big picture of the bible through God’s word. At the end, people have got to know God and can make an informed choice to continue developing the relationship. It’s similar to getting married: we don’t propose on the first date! We propose only after building the relationship to an appropriate point. It’s called Introducing God. Check out the web link.

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