Monday, July 21, 2008


OK, it's over a week old now, but I finally had a chance to read it over the weekend...
There is a good post over at Out of Ur about “felt needs” church growth. Very good critique of the supposed biblical foundation for it. Here is the penultimate paragraph:

Contradicting the gospel message is another danger of a hyper-felt-needs based approach to outreach. The gospel calls us to surrender our desires, take up our cross, and follow Christ. How can a church effectively invite people to “die to self” while constantly appealing to their self-interests? Whereas Jesus’ miracles of restoration were completely in sync with his message, our acts of service—particularly in an affluent, consumer culture—run the risk of undermining our message of personal sacrifice by promoting the satifaction of felt-needs/wants.

<idle musing>
Yes! I've said it before, but it bears mentioning again, the most overlooked passages in the Bible are the ones that talk about death to self. It doesn't preach well in our self-absorbed society, but it is the essence of the gospel. Christ came to set us free from self; why, then, do we preach a self-indulgent “gospel?”
</idle musing>


Bill Heroman said...

idle response
To fill the seats? Perhaps preaching a sacrificial gospel might empty the seats and the coffers and that would be too... sacrificial? Ah. Hmm.
/idle response

So whose felt needs are really motivating the approach?

jps said...


Good point. Whose needs is a soft gospel serving? It sure does fill the pews and the coffers, so I guess it must be serving the needs of the god of mammon :(