Are Evangelical Churches Missing the Point?

I’ve long believed that the so-called “seeker-sensitive” movement, its older sister – the mainline liberal churches, and their younger brother – the rebellious “Emergent/emerging” movement – have all been missing the point of what the church of God is supposed to be. What’s worse, many more “traditional” (for lack of a better term) evangelical churches miss the point, too.

It’s not that we or they hold Scripture too loosely (though for them that is part of it), and it’s not that we or they care too much for unbelievers (though that does often show a degree of man-centeredness); it’s that we both fundamentally misunderstand what God’s church is. It is the fellowship of the redeemed, for the upbuilding of itself in love into the Head, who is Christ (Eph. 4:15f). It is not outwardly focused toward man, but inwardly focused toward God.

Tony Payne explains it even better:

…Even if we acknowledge that there will be ‘gospel’ things happening all over the place in church, it is also important to say that evangelism is not the purpose of Christian assemblies. It is certainly not their focus. In the New Testament, churches are characteristically the fruit of evangelism, not its agent. Evangelism usually takes place outside the assembly—in the marketplace, the synagogue, the prison, and in daily gospel conversation.

More to the point, theologically, the Christian assembly is a fellowship of the redeemed…The purpose of our earthly assemblies, therefore, is to fellowship together in what we already share—our union with Christ—as we listen to and respond to him together, and build his assembly by the words we speak.

Thank God for always reforming us and bringing us back to His Word. May we not worship unbelieving men but the God who gives and gives and gives faith, and may that worship gathered spill over into evangelism scattered.

(HT: JT)


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

2 Responses to Are Evangelical Churches Missing the Point?

  1. cindyinsd says:

    Yes! Hear, hear! Well done! So true and always so lost in the shuffle. We are supposed to be building ourselves (and one another) up in our most holy faith during our assemblies. When the world sees that we are one as the triune God is one, then and only then will they see who Jesus truly is.

    God bless,


  2. Britt says:


    Thanks for dropping by and reading again. I couldn’t agree more. I’m so thankful that God used Mr. Payne put clearer words to my long-held beliefs.

    Come back anytime,

    Britt (yourcrossonmyback)

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