What’s wrong with the North American church? Too many try their earnest to fit a largely consumeristic model of church. Check out this video:
Apparently September 18th is National Back to Church day (because evidently the church takes Summer’s off).
Why is this a fail? Fundamentally it is a demonstration that the contemporary church has tunnel vision. The posture is all about consumption–how the church (building) can be the fixture of Christianity.
It seems many churches are still stuck in the miry clay of ‘come and see’ church. They build the building and pray feverishly people will come to enjoy the spiritual wares contained within. Relevant preaching, interesting programs, and worthy sermons are the name of the game with greater numbers being the desired result.
Forget for a minute that the attractive elements in church rarely appeal to unchurched or folks who exist in a post-Christendom worldview (although the video seems to be targeted to never-churched people).
BUt that’s the rub. Since when is mission reduced to a video you show someone to invite another to church? That’s the focus! That’s so sad and bankrupt of a holistic expression of mission. No wonder the church is shrinking.
These types of churches are the ones that believe the church has a mission rather than the missio Dei having a participating church.
Although pastors and leaders wouldn’t admit it to be so, creating a focus around ‘coming to church’ or ‘inviting someone to church’ glorifies a) the location, b) the product and services offered, c) the professional clergy who run the show. This perspective robs the congregation of power reducing them to a roll of solicitor.
Let’s use the money and effort from these commercials and use it towards block parties or something meaningful that will develop lasting relationships and inroads into the community outside of the church rather than developing expertise in one-off Sunday morning experiences.