The Door-Step Evangel

Church Growth Innovations
Dr. Ronald L. Tottingham

I'm wondering if the church movement in America is preaching the old crucified Christ still or becoming a supplier of "Christian" consumer wants.

Today we're seeing a "consumer" approach to "Churchdom" with the "Frog in the kettle," "User Friendly Churches," "Growing a Healthy Church," "An inside look at ten of today's most innovative churches," etc. With all these innovations, ideas and opportunities for church growth it seems there's much more to giving the "Baby Boomers" what they want spiritually (or could it be Christianly [to coin a new word]) than in giving them what the Old KJV declares all men need - regeneration.

Titus tells us that God's Word (today's greatest need) is manifested by preaching. But among these innovations is the demise of old-fashioned preaching of Biblical expositing. That's not what the consumer wants?! I'm thinking hard - I've only come up with one kind of preaching, the preaching of the cross, which is foolishness to those who believe not.

Our church hits the streets, jails, prison, Crippled Children's Hospital, and has an active bus ministry. We mail out information, hand out tracts, and talk to our neighbors and friends. We talk with those we work with and find too that the old Gospel still has a cutting edge.

Ah, the preaching. If we'd only adjust that some, trim it down, take some of its authoritative manner aside, we'd have found the most palatable innovation of all to church growth. Smoother preaching still attracts the sinner. It also leaves them mostly unregenerate too, but we'd have crowds. Carnal "Christians'" wants could be met better and the idea would be innovative, but not necessarily sound. The crowds will flow and the money flows to purchase these innovative programs when the old preaching is smoother and the church programs become consumer user friendly. But I'm thinking that God knew all this change when he laid down his charge. I'm sticking with the old charge Christ laid down in II Timothy 4:1-3: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.
The Door-Step Evangel is published in the interests of Evangelism and information as a Church paper, sincerely devoted to the cause of Jesus Christ. We are in favor of everything that is right and opposed to everything that is wrong.

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