ARC stands for Association of Related Churches, I’m going to add to this and say other churches that flow down the same stream of ideology. There are many churches in America that mimic these churches even if they are not part of the ARC, association.
When I moved here to Northwest Ohio, it seemed to me people where clamoring for our church attendance. Every time I met someone they would ask, “where do you go to church?” It’s great to invite people to church, but looking back on my story, I wonder really what the motive was? The last proposition was not long ago. The lure was that they had lots of children at their church with fun things to do. I thanked her for the invite, but I really like the church I attend.
When I became a born again Christian, it was important that my children were in a doctrinally sound church, not that it was fun. There is not a lot of children at the church we attend, but the doctrine is sound and we are truly learning to be disciples of Christ. We wanted our children to be in a Bible believing church. This does not mean we don’t have fun, it’s that it’s not the focus. In my opinion, many parents look for churches with lots of programs and games, with a little bit of Bible teaching; or they look for a church that all their friends and family attend, so to not disrupt their lives. And if I am honest, I also did the same thing before I was saved. This is a grave mistake parents make, and many children walk away from their faith, because it was never there to begin with.
So what is so attractive about ARC or churches like it?
- In these churches lost people feel comfortable because they do not say, “Are you sure you are a Christian?”
- They don’t share the complete gospel.
- This churches are exciting, with lots of young people and are emotionally driven
- They don’t sing hymns and have lots of new songs
- They put unregenerate people into ministry
- They have platforms and stages, not pulpits and alters.
- They like to do a lot of good for the community, making the people involved feel like they are doing something good also
- They have women pastors
- They scout young people to be the faces of they church, or people who can keep up a worldly appearance
- Young people are running the youth groups
- Small groups are not about studying God’s Word, they are about bettering the community, games, food, crafts, ect….
- Topical preaching on making yourself, marriage, and family life better. No expository preaching!
- No church discipline
- You can interpret the Bible how ever you want, for YOU. No stance on doctrine
- The music style fits the popular music of the day
THE BIG PULL SUMMED UP!
- They want to make a difference in their communities, with no gospel
- The music
Here is a link to the fasted growing churches in America in 2020. Andy Stanley’s church is first and that should say it all if you know what he teaches.