Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Consumption

Warning: Personal Post.

I read a great article this morning titled Can Christian Consumers Ruin Pastors? You should read it and you should ask yourself: Am I a Christian consumer?

I'll be honest, I've felt this pressure from people. There are people who don't like how I speak so they compare me to the famous preacher that they listen to online each week and "gently encourage" me to talk more like him. Others want to do ministry so-and-so because they read about it working in a mega-church somewhere. The list could go on, but I'm convinced that the motivation behind these statements is a consumer mentality. It's an "all-about-me" approach to spirituality (I say "spirituality" because Christianity is inherently the opposite of a consumer mentality).

This consumer mentality is a cancer to churches. It's an unnecessary burden on pastors and it hinders the people from truly being the church.

We have a lot of great people who are a part of the Hub City family who aren't consumer Christians. They keep me going. I'm thankful for the people who love me and accept me for who I am and who encourage me to maximize my gifts and calling.

Consumers drain me. They cause me to question my gifts and calling. The problem, however, is that most consumers are blind to what they are doing. They can't see beyond their limited view of the world.

So what's the cure? I think we need a change of heart where we think of others before ourselves, where we're less about what we want and more about serving others. I think we need to ask ourselves about our motivation. Why do I like what I like? Why does this (whatever it is) make me mad? What is my motivation? Is it about me? And then we need to be in relationships with others who have the courage to speak up when our Christian consumerism rears its ugly head.

1 Comments:

At 11:34 AM, January 13, 2011 , Anonymous Jaimee said...

Warning: personal comment (haha)

I really enjoyed reading this. I think another piece of the puzzle is you, as our pastor, being open and transparent about your thoughts on this, including what you need and expect from us personally. Most people are sort of just brought up and raised in the "groove" of consumption, with no real incentive to do anything differently. It may even come as a shock to people that our pastor is a regular person, "like us" or that we have any kind of responsibility when it comes to our place in Christian community. Really, when you look around, what you see mostly when it comes to churches is just kind of a mindless drive-thru experience. Is it any wonder that we want it "our way" or "super-sized"?

 

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