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Monday, November 10, 2014

The Logical Result of Evangelical Consumerism

When I visit churches I spend a lot of my time there observing the congregation.  It is relatively easy to determine the health of a church by noting the median age of the congregation.  In a number of the churches I have attended that number is fairly high.  That is usually an indication of a decline in both the growth rate of that body and in the effectiveness of that body in reaching their community.
The Logical Result of Evangelical Consumerism
I often wonder how a church moves from having a dynamic impact on a community into a state of decline where it becomes a constant battle to keep the building maintained, the mortgage paid, and the doors open.

I am still working on this, but I am playing with the seed of a thought.  It is the case that most pastors have been trained to preach, visit, wed people, and subsequently bury them.  That is how most congregations evaluate the effectiveness of their pastor.  Is he meeting those needs well or not?

I have heard numerous people complain about pastors that they are not feeding them.  Many pastors, on the other hand, are not very good at fulfilling the role Paul describes for them in Ephesians 4:11 – 16.  Rather than equipping the saints for the work of service, they do it.  They spend untold hours prepping sermons that most people will forget in 24 hours.  In so doing they help sustain a culture of Evangelical Consumerism.  Rather than equipping the flock to sustain themselves, they succumb to the demand of the sheep to feed them.  So rather than teaching to fish they continue to give fish that they dig up.

What does this create in the long run?

I will share my thoughts on that tomorrow.

3 comments:

  1. "Evangelical Consumerism" -- eyes-opening, true and challenging term.
    I guess that failure to raise new generation of leaders and focus on feeding the flock the milk (pre-digested food) rather than training the folks to feed themselves and train others (reproduce reproducers) will result in spiritual decay and eventually in disappearance. Heb 5:11-14 well illustrates this.

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    Replies
    1. You may have already unveiled your thinking in later posts. Let me try to verbalize my thoughts before looking into yours.

      1) Keep feeding the meat of the Word myself and be willing to share and capable to pass on required skills;
      // I am growing in this thanks to the Prof's Synthetic Bible study messages and your example and encouragement.
      2) Be intentional in mentoring younger generation;
      // I've joined a group of younger folks who gather to pray weekly.
      3) If relevant, share with the pastor a different view on feeding the flock.

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