Also See Section on The Purpose Driven Program (While “purpose-driven” sounds better than “market-driven” it is basically the same thing)
Seeker Friendly, Church Growth Failures in The Bible
Rick Warren says Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with many examples of God choosing to reveal himself to man according to our needs and that Jesus Himself won people over by starting with their felt needs. He also says that The New Testament is the greatest church-growth book ever written... that we should apply Jesus’ methodology. So how did Jesus and other Biblical figures do with seeker friendly methods? Actually if one takes the trouble to read the Bible.. they were all total failures according to modern standards
The Market-Driven Church: A Look Behind the Scenes
New paradigm churches, are identified by a philosophy of ministry intentionally designed to effect numerical growth. In their church growth methodologies, more attention is paid to market strategy, business techniques, and demographics than to New Testament instruction. Read the leading literature from the pens of the church growth experts (e.g. The Purpose Driven Church, by Rick Warren of Saddleback; Marketing the Church, by George Barna and Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry, by Lee Strobel) and you will find bucket loads of marketing techniques and only passing references to the book of Acts (the divinely inspired "church growth" manual), or to any other Scripture for that matter.
Blanchard was hired to ‘grow’ the church. His occult/New Age connections and leaning have taken a front seat in making the church more ‘successful’. Today’s church knows nothing of separation from the world, but seeks the approval of the world by integrating and ingratiating itself wherever possible. Market-driven churches are built upon the foundation of polls, surveys, and the latest marketing techniques, instead of upon the Word of God. And that people is the abysmal level that churches, church ‘leaders’ and Christians have fallen to.
Faulty Premises of the Church Growth Movement
Examining some of the key premises of the Church Growth Movement and comparing them to the Bible. We will see that several of the most basic assumptions that underlie this movement are false.
What’s Wrong with the Purpose Drive / CGM (Christian Growth Movement)?
While using methods external to the Bible are not necessarily wrong, it can become harmful when we put marketing and human effort into the place God has said can only be fulfilled by His Spirit. Is it so far fetched to allow scripture to be the vision of the church? God has laid out His plan for the church and if we deviate from it, we are questioning the wisdom of God. Very little supporting scripture is presented in the CGM model and when it is presented, it is a phrase or a verse taken out of context.
Church Growth Movement.. Sciences, Marketing, Surveys, Demographics
and Philosophies Of The New Age
An analytical and Biblical view of what has been termed "The Church Growth Movement" [CGM] and its counter part, "The Purpose Driven Church". Thousands of churches have become involved in using the techniques of this movement over the past ten years in efforts to cause the numbers in their churches increase along with personal growth. Through a slow transformation process, the structure and character of these churches eventually manifest a "business" and "entertainment" looks. Something they say is more culturally relevant and appealing to the modern "baby boomer". However, as we look at scripture, we find that man's techniques of the world cannot build a church. So let's compare what the CGM says, with what Scripture says.
An Analysis of Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven" Church Growth Strategy
Our burden is for churches that are trying to stay true to the Lord and have experienced little or no growth through the years as a result of their stand for the truth. The temptation to incorporate some of the techniques of the dynamic church growth model is great. Who does not want to reach more people, draw a larger crowd or be more effective in ministry? Nevertheless, the question that every Bible-believing Christian and fundamentalist pastor should ask is "What must be sacrificed in order to gain more members and become a 'superchurch'?"
Willow Creek’s Admission of Failure
Willow’s leadership now admits, in the words of Bill Hybels, “We made a mistake.” They have admitted that the model of “doing church” which they have poured 30 years and millions of dollars into has been a mistake is incredulous. However having failed at virtually every level to produce true disciples and develop biblical churches, Willow wants to start all over again and they would like to take us with them. We can trust them this time, we are assured, for they have new research tools, new insights, and new programs. They will guide us correctly this time – promise. This is a bit incredible, but Hybels and Hawkins are so winsome in their presentations, so sincere in their promises, that millions will undoubtedly follow them once again, blindly, with Bibles firmly left unexamined, down the road on this new adventure
True and False Unity
Christian unity is unity under and through the gospel. It is nurtured through the teaching of sound Biblical doctrine. False unity is unity that is demanded and prescribed by religious leaders to their own ideas and organizations. This is the unity that the religious leaders of Israel wanted and that Jesus threatened.
The People’s Church
The Hegelian Dialectic or "Consensus Process" put in layman's terms is brainwashing. It's all about embracing "tolerance, diversity and unity" for The New World Order. It's no longer a question of what is right or wrong, good or bad, lawful or unlawful, but rather HOW WE ALL FEEL ABOUT IT... No absolutes, no conscience, no convictions, no laws, no Constitution, no Bible and NO GOD!!!... Only a contrived consensus.
Quotes by Charles Spurgeon
"That very church which the world likes best is sure to be that which God abhors." (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "How Saints May Help The Devil," July 24, 1859)
"Dear friends, we know that souls are not won by music, if they were it would be time for preachers to give way to opera singers." (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit," Volume 18, page 239)
"The heaving of the masses under newly invented excitements we are too apt to identify with the power of God. This age of novelties would seem to have discovered spiritual power in brass bands and tambourines...The tendency of the time is towards bigness, parade, and show of power, as if these would surely accomplish what more regular agencies have failed to achieve." (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit," Volume 28, page 377, 1882)
"Jesus said, 'Preach the gospel to every creature.' But men are getting tired of the divine plan; they are going to be saved by a priest, going to be saved by the music, going to be saved by theatricals, and nobody knows what! Well, they may try these things as long as ever they like; but nothing can ever come of the whole thing but utter disappointment and confusion, God dishonoured, the gospel travestied, hypocrites manufactured by the thousands, and the church dragged down to the level of the world." (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit," Volume 40, page 199, 1888)