Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship‘:
“Of all the ways culture influences the church, nothing has had more of an impact on us than that of a consumerist vision of society…we are daily being nurtured in the worldview generated by late capitalism of the twenty-first century – consumerism…It is a religious scripting born of a powerful economic system. As we have already seen, consumerism exhibits the hallmarks of a very virile meta-spirituality offering meaning, identity, purpose, and belonging to it’s various devotees. The church, far from being immune, has drunk deeply from its wells. In fact, we have pretty much designed contemporary expressions of church around consumer values…It’s as though the church-as-vendor has become a giant feeding trough where largely capable, middle-class people come to eat their fill. Actually, many don’t even eat for themselves; they come to “get fed”! The very language of “getting fed” at church betrays the fact that many attendees are not disciples at all, but rather passive consumers. Want to test this? Simply stop preaching every Sunday for six weeks, or close down the children’s ministry, or stop some other “service” or another, even temporarily, and see what happens. Attendance and tithing will drop immediately…” (Untamed – p.138-139)Maybe this could be a message to ourselves as the Church – “When All Else Fails Try Jesus’- when all our programs and methodologies for marketing and growing our churches has failed – maybe we will again return to simply learning and living as disciples of Jesus. And maybe, just maybe, we won’t be offended if he smashes our road-side marquees in the same way he overturned the money-changers’ tables in the temple at Jerusalem.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)]]>