How shall I begin. We attempt to capture the youth of our world and lead them to Christ. In that process we look to other churches that have been successful in this regard and try to mimic their orders of worship etc.. In the end, we're no different than Voodoo worshipers...gazing at the easily hypnotized states brought about by endless repetitions of praise songs, with non-ending drum beats, and repeated phrases. I'm deeply worried. It's Christian hypnotism!
Mind you, I'm a forever learning Christian. I want for others to come to know Christ. But, should we employ the tactics of hypnotists to win the souls for Christ? Should we trick 'em into thinking Jesus is the answer to their problems? Should we structure the order of worship such that after sufficient spellbinding words and music that we then ask for the offering...then give them more to chew on? These are the very tactics utilized in some of these various ministries that come to a city near you, packing the house, selling DVDs and shirts, caps, books, and more...How repulsive! And when their special crusade/event ends, they point those who came to the local franchise (church) so that the lost who have been saved can have a place to go for more of the same.
I share this observation because many in mainstream churches look to other not-so-mainstream churches that are growing by leaps and bounds...and ask why. We may ask, what can we learn from them? I only hope that those engaged in the postmodern/emergent movement find a way to distance themselves from the manipulative practices of those in it only for the money. May we find ways to bring people to Christ...but I pray...with a different motive.
Be careful, as God is watching.