Tag Archives: consumer

Dinner with You? It Depends…What are We Having?

Tuesday Re-mix:

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:11-14

I suppose the age (i.e., level of maturity) varies from one person to the next on this issue, but all of us eventually grow up enough to learn how to respond to a dinner invitation with something other than, “It depends…what are we having?” I am right about that, am I not?  I mean, what kind of insensitive, childish, self-centered adult would respond that way?  Granted, we all might think it to ourselves, but we don’t say it out loud.  After all, what would our dinner host think?

In short, there is a time when it is acceptable to play the role of the consumer and there is a time when it is not.  There are moments in life when it really is all about me and my needs, and there are moments when that attitude is just childish.

As a church leader, I have a growing fear that the church in America (and surely in other parts of the world as well, but the American church is the one with whom I am most familiar) is irreparably consumer-minded and is becoming shameless in our response to God’s invitations.  To call us childish or Spiritually immature would be an understatement.  Somehow, somewhere along the way, I stopped asking whether

Asleep in the Pews

Tuesday Re-mix: This is an update of a popular post I ran last year.

asleep-on-the-couchDo you agree with me that, to a large extent, the American church has fallen asleep in the pews?  I don’t mean that literally (although there may be another post there).  I mean that we have grown fat and lazy as servants and have been lulled to a state of Spiritual incapacitation by our “entertain me, feed me, give me, minister to me” consumer mentality. I think if the apostle Paul came to America today, he would be appalled.

I believe in an active laity. I believe the Spirit of God Himself lives, moves and manifests Himself through every believer. I believe God’s calling on my life (as a layman) is no less significant than His calling on a pastor’s life. I believe God gives laity specific assignments in Body life with an expectation that they will be met with faithfulness and commitment. Put all these “belief” pieces together and it means that I am often accused of “blurring the line” between laity and clergy in the church. Of that charge I am completely guilty.

Please understand, I believe strongly in the notion of pastoral authority. I believe God gives a pastor an ability to see what He (God) is doing across the landscape of a congregation and therefore have a critical insight on vision and direction of that congregation. In that regard, then, I believe there is a difference between being a pastor and being a layman. But I’m not convinced God intended the differences to go much further than that.

It seems to me that the church (at least the various church cultures with which I am familiar) is guilty of maintaining two classes of “citizens”: the professional clergy (whom we pay to do …