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Searching for Seekers: Ministry with a New Generation of the Unchurched [Secure eReader]
eBook by Mary Scifres

eBook Category: Spiritual/Religion
eBook Description: Containing sample services for different kinds of "Seeker-friendly" worship services, this book will provide pastors and other church leaders with a thoughtful, yet practical introduction to who Seekers are and how the church might best minister to them.

eBook Publisher: United Methodist Publishing House/Abingdon Press, Published: 2002
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2003




INTRODUCTION

Over the course of my life, I have learned much about God, life, faith, hope, and love from friends who have either left the church or who have never been to church at all. These friends encouraged me to seek God and live according to deeply held values and principles. As a Christian, I have always believed that the Church has much to offer my friends in their faith journey. As a Christian leader, I feel called to help make this belief a reality. What follows is the result of many years of yearning to find ways to welcome my friends back into the church or into the church for the first time. I dream of a nation full of churches that welcomes Seekers as we all learn together how to better love God and neighbor.

As you read through the pages ahead, you may wonder if reaching these Seekers is far beyond the grasp of the church where you live and serve. Don't get discouraged! The guidelines and thoughts in this book represent ideal situations and solutions; they should not be viewed as all or nothing. As a pastor, I have always sought to create a Seeker-friendly atmosphere in the churches where I serve. However, these churches have never satisfied all of the criteria outlined in this book to be considered completely Seeker-friendly in either worship or fellowship. But somehow, the striving has been enough. Seekers continue to drift into these churches and many find safe, accepting homes, even in the midst of our shortcomings. Simply doing what you can with love is more successful than mechanically achieving any ideal formula for the most welcoming or dramatic Seeker ministry in town.

To make the best use of this book, consider your setting and your specific worship and ministry needs. You may find it helpful to use this book as a resource, turning to specific chapters for help when the need arises. For the most practical advice on improving your current worship services or developing new ones, turn to chapter three. Chapter six is also particularly helpful if you are developing a new ministry or worship service for Seekers. To understand the different types of Seekers in our country, you will find chapter two helpful in understanding generational differences; you will also find chapter three's descriptions of different types of Seekers useful in recognizing that different types of Seekers avoid the church for different reasons. For the preacher, chapter five may be your most useful tool. And for those who want more general ideas on understanding and reaching Seekers, chapter four offers a hodgepodge of tools for doing so. If you're really in a hurry and hate reading, skip straight to Appendix A for the "shortcut" lists of Seeker-friendly ideas.

My hopes and prayers are with each reader of this book, and with each church that searches for Seekers, striving to integrate the faith journeys of Seekers and Followers so that we may all learn and grow together. Here's to the journey!

Shalom,

Mary Scifres

Copyright © 1998 by Mary J. Scifres


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