You’ll often hear people connected to The Gospel Coalition critique so-called seeker-sensitive churches. And for good reason. We don’t survey unbelievers to find out what we should do in church. Much has been lost in discipleship from a mistaken effort to treat Sunday mornings like evangelistic meetings. It’s hard to teach the cost of discipleship when you’re trying to make everyone feel comfortable.

At the same time, we can understand why seeker churches took off in popularity. TGC doesn’t simply propose turning back the clock before the megachurch boom of the 1970s and 1980s. Rather, in this time and place where fewer and fewer have experience with church or knowledge of Scripture, we must labor to make the gospel message understandable. And we must be welcoming as we see our churches through the eyes of outsiders, so often bewildered by our peculiar practices and vocabulary.

My guest on today’s episode of The Gospel Coalition Podcast is Erik Raymond. He’s senior pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church outside Boston and a TGC blogger. He is also the writer and presenter of Gospel Shaped Outreach, a small-group video and book study published by TGC with The Good Book Company. It’s based on point two—evangelistic effectiveness—from TGC’s five points of gospel-centered ministry in our Theological Vision for Ministry. We talked about how gospel-centered churches can grow in this priority.

Listen to this episode of The Gospel Coalition Podcast and check out other episodes in the series Why We Need Theological Vision.