Seeker-Sensitive = bowing to the whims of American culture, giving people what they want, and avoiding the hard truths of God’s Word.
Seeker-Sensible = refusing to bow to the whims of culture but communicating the hard truths of God’s Word in a way that connects with a 2010 culture.
Parker Hill Community Church is seeker-sensible rather than seeker-sensitive, and Saturday’s message is the perfect illustration. We are in the middle of a sermon series called “Welcome to my Dysfunctional Family.” The Clarks Summit area is a suburban culture with typical family units – so the sermon series connects with the sub-culture of Clarks Sumimt. We are studying the stories of Jacob, Lot, Samson, Eli, and Timothy.
Tonight’s message was on Samson – we studied passages like Judges 14:1-3 which says, ”Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, ‘I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.’ His father and mother replied, ‘Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?’ But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.’”
I would imagine that a seeker-sensitive church would just stop at these three verses – give a point – and move on – because verse 4 of Judges 14 is a very hard verse. It says, “(His parents did not know that this was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.)”
Parker Hill refuses to be seeker-sensitive in our teaching because we deal with hard passages like this verse. Pastor Mark Stuenzi’s point on verse 4 was this: “God’s sovereignty is greater than any mistake in our (kids) lives.” Seeker-sensitive churches would probably skip verse four. Seeker-sensible churches teach the truth of verse four, but they communicate it with wisdom knowing that we are called to be wise communicators in the middle of a 2010 culture. And the conclusion of the message was a review of the fact that Jesus Christ died on a Roman cross and rose from the dead to reconcile men and women to God. Jesus Christ is the only hope that any dysfunctional family has in this life.