Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Showtime! No More

a Biblical thought...
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (Luke 10:27)

a Book thought...
Unfortunately, being allowed to crash is the only route to learning something new. (p195 Logan & Miller)
a Dave thought...
The only way to capture people's attention is entertainment, I thought. If I want people to listen to my message, I've got to present it in a way that grabs their attention long enough for me to communicate the gospel. It was an epiphany, a breakthrough understanding for me. So our church strategy revolved around the gravitational force of entertainment for evangelism. We hired the best musicians we could afford; we used marketing principles and programming specialists—for the gospel's sake. Attendance skyrocketed. More people meant more staff, more programs, more facilities, more land, and of course the need for more money. We became a program-driven church attracting consumers looking for the latest and greatest religious presentations.
For us, worship was a show, and we played to a packed house. We grew by thousands, bought more land, and positioned ourselves to reach even more people. Not that any of this is wrong in and of itself—people coming to faith in Christ isn't bad. I told myself it was good—I told others it was good. But now I was beginning to wonder if I'd led my church down a wrong path.
The show was killing me.
Attracting consumers was consuming me—not in the way vision consumes a leader. It was the opposite of that—I was losing sight of the vision. Our church was a great organization. But something was missing. We weren't accomplishing our mission; we weren't creating transformed, empowered disciples.After pouring more than 25 years of my life into this church, I knew we weren't developing disciples who were taking up their crosses to follow Jesus. We'd produced consumers—like Pac-Man, gobbling up religious experiences, navigating a maze but going nowhere in particular.
Too many were observing the show but not meeting God. They meandered in and out of relationships but weren't in real community. They sought their spiritual fix but didn't give themselves fully to Christ.

This article "Could our church shift from performance to mission?" by Walt Kallestad is certainly worth a read and certainly shows us the dangers of focusing on the performance rather than the mission.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with what this person is saying. Our vision and mission should be to make disciples. Number crunching is not the answer - discipling people means that they continue in the faith and bring others to faith.