Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fighting Yesterday's Battles

The worship war, where we fought, screamed, cried and split over music and preaching styles is not yesterday’s issue. That was the day before yesterday. And as is typical, we leaders in the church are two steps behind in addressing our problems.  

Yesterday’s issue is the consumerism of the church, where people go to church where the music, the preacher, and the coffee is best.

There’s some connection between the two. Our focus on worship style led to a self centered consumerism: Which church has the best drummer and electric guitar player? Which preacher is the most entertaining speaker?

Perhaps the commonality is that we’re appealing to people’s selfishness. We tell them we can make them feel better, happier, more satisfied, and more successful. 

The most marketable churches may have the biggest crowds, but overall, the whole thing is still shrinking. If I imitate the church with the biggest crowd, I’m still looking at something that is part of a losing equation. 

Most of our identified problems are only symptomatic of the real one, which is that we don’t know who we are or what our purpose is.

Why are we here? Does it matter if the church exists? What would happen if we disappeared? Would anybody notice?  What are we supposed to be doing besides filling our time with “wholesome” activities?

Until we find clarity of purpose, we’ll find ourselves squabbling about yesterday’s issues until we are only a part of yesterday.

Any thoughts on the subject?

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