Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Entertainment-and-Performance-Driven Church is Like a Drug-Addicted Athlete (The Presence-Driven Church)

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Jesus didn't have to put on a show to keep the crowds coming. In fact, sometimes the crowds got smaller because, let's face it, following after Jesus was not always a big culture-pleaser.

Some churches are very concerned to please and entertain people so they will keep coming and invite their friends. This is not necessarily good.

Tim Suttle writes:

"If the church is the body of Christ, then the megachurch is like an athlete on steroids.
Every major city has a bevy of churches drawing between 5k-25k people. To get a body to grow that big leaders have to use some sort of performance enhancer. These things—typically models, strategies, and techniques gleaned not from the gospel or the Christian narrative, but from the world of business and the narrative of consumer capitalism—serve as performance enhancers that help create enormous congregations with huge facilities and hundreds of programs.
The impact of these practices is akin to using performance-enhancing drugs. They actually alter the form and function of the body, causing real and serious long-term consequences for the church universal...
Our most celebrated church leaders have been feeding the church the equivalent of performance-enhancing drugs for decades. The rest of us immediately asked them how they were doing it so we could try it too. If anyone felt a hint of concern in those early years of the church growth movement, we easily shrugged it off because the results were so amazing. But sometimes we tend to forget the downsides."