My philosophy of ministry is strongly geared toward Seeker sensitivity. I hope that by the time you finish this article yours will be, too. But it’s not the seeker sensitivity you’re used to hearing about. In fact, it’s probably the exact opposite.
In John 4:23, Jesus says this to the woman at the well, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” Later in John, Jesus asserts that the only way people come to him (dare I say, seek him), is if the Father draws him (6:44), or if Jesus himself draws him (12:32).
You see this gracious work of God to draw people to himself in the Gospels (the calling of the disciples, Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, etc.), in Acts (the Ethiopian eunuch, Cornelius, Saul), and the epistles (with all its discourse on calling and election).
The new definition of Seeker sensitive ministry
Since it is God who draws people to himself, we ought to adopt a philosophy of ministry that is Seeker sensitive. That is, a philosophy of ministry that is sensitive to the fact that God is seeking his elect and drawing them to himself.
It is a philosophy of ministry that is sensitive to the Seeker’s seeking.
The difference this makes in your ministry
If God seeks his worshipers…if God draws his children…if He calls those whom he will justify, sanctify, and glorify…what difference does that make?
The difference is that the Word of God will become central to your church’s ministry.
Because the Word of God is exactly what people crave when they are drawn by God.
You bait your hook with a worm because that is what fish crave. When God draws people to worship him in spirit and in truth, he imparts to them cravings for truth in their spirit, by the Spirit. So let’s go fishing for men with a tackle box filled with biblical lures.
What does Seeker sensitivity look like?
If you believe that God seeks those who will worship him, then you will preach gospel-centered sermons from the Word. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
If you believe that God seeks his worshipers, then you will pray for and mobilize your congregation to go into your community with the Word. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).
If you believe that God seeks his worshipers, then you will program your church around preaching and prayer. “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables…But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word…And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great number of the priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:2, 4, 7).
So the question is: do you really believe that God seeks, calls, and draws his worshipers? Prove it through your preaching, prayer, and programs.