Saint Augustine once said that it was wrong to judge any movement by the abuses in it. In other words, while we may not like some of the aspects of the “felt needs” seeker philosophy of church growth, we shouldn’t summarily dismiss it based on our dislikes. The Bible calls believers to hold up what they see to the light of Scripture. In other words, “What does God say concerning church growth and seekers?”
Jesus said in Matthew 16:18: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Jude wrote that believers are to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). The Christian faith is the faith received by the Apostles who wrote and proclaimed the truth. The response of those who were pierced by the word and spirit through Peter’s preaching, Acts 2, devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles, the fellowship, the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
But, Peter’s confession was the main point. He declared Jesus to be the “Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said Peter didn’t come up with that truth but God, the Father, revealed it to him. Peter’s confession is the truth upon which the Church of Jesus Christ is built.
Jesus’ method for growing the church is very simple. He is the builder. The means by which He builds His Church is through the proclamation of the truth (Romans 10:14-17). Other methods may attract people. But the only one that grows the church is Jesus Christ by His word and spirit.
Concerning seekers, Jesus told a Samaritan woman that God, the Father, seeks worshipers (John 4:23ff). The Apostle Paul quoted the Old Testament and in Romans 3:11 wrote, “No one understands; no one seeks for God.”