According to a new study, what people want in a church is changing. Blogger, author and book reviewer Tim Challies expresses his concern that pastors will give their congregants what they want but “they will do so not on the basis of biblical convictions, but on the basis of pragmatism.” In other words, pragmatism or “whatever works” to get people to come to church, will be what drives preachers to adopt what appears to be a hot new trend in the visible Church. Challies writes:
According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee at the cafe. The hottest thing at church today is the preaching. Not only is it the preaching, but a very specific form of it—preaching based on the Bible. And just like that, decades of church growth bunkum is thrown under the bus. As Christianity Today says, “Despite a new wave of contemporary church buzzwords like relational, relevant, and intentional, people who show up on Sundays are looking for the same thing that has long anchored most services: preaching centered on the Bible.” Praise God.