Do You Want a Weak Pastor and a Sick Church?

(The Attractional Church Model Is For You!)

For instance, why do pastors not take a strong position on the politics of abortion?

Here’s why:

They are following the attractional church model, and they do not want to exclude Democrats from joining their churches.

For this reason, pastors do not fight the battles that need to be fought.

They do not advocate and explain the causes that people need to support.

They default on their moral duty to God under the guise of “maintaining decorum” and under the guise of “avoiding using the pulpit as a political platform” in some improper way.

The problem is that they want to fill the churches with unrepentant sinners — and they do not know this is what they want.

Neither do they know what it will cost.

I don’t see many mainstream evangelical leaders shifting away from a pro-life stance publicly. That would cost them too much “influence.”

But neither will they discipline their members for holding one or another view on a specific political battle (or just about any other sin). That would also cost them too much “influence.”

You see the pattern:

  • Pragmatism
  • Lack of principled leadership
  • Fear of man
  • Cowardice

Doesn’t this (our inability to preach about moral standards) naturally stem from believing that Sunday services are largely “evangelistic”? That service is mostly about harping on the love God displayed in the Gospel, hoping that hearts will be changed by that, while turning from hot button issues that might be stumbling blocks to one hearing the Gospel? How do you reason with someone that believes this way?

It seems to be a very genuine conviction for many — deeply rooted in how American Christianity at large has approached Sunday services as a sort public gathering for a narrow declaration of what the Gospel is and the basic ways that applies to daily living.

I think many of these Pastors will say that small groups are more so the place for more “controversial” discussion.

So again, what do you reason with a pastor that takes this approach?

I would point out what churches did in Acts and where the conversions took place (not in the church meeting). I would point out that historically Christians have long understood these matters and the attractional model is new (from the 1800s). Our idea of what a group gathering for worship looks like should be shaped by the Bible and informed by the testimony of Christians throughout history, not merely by the Christians who raised us.

Also, there are practical arguments for why the attractional model is unwise. But focus first on the standards of Scripture. Bring in arguments from consequences only if the person already understands that Scripture — not the market — guides our practice.

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