Consumerism in the Church

Lately I’ve been in some discussions about our particular model of church with a few really bright critics. It’s good to allow others to ask challenging questions, and to ask them of ourselves.

Some people just don’t like big churches. Others really resist the idea of one church having multiple campuses. And the idea of having a communicator appear via video is pretty “outside the box” for many.

The cool thing is that there is room in the body of Christ for all of these thoughts. I’m not going to knock your model of reaching people. There are very few things worth arguing about, and if you are encouraging people to love God and love people in stronger and more authentic ways, them I’m going to cheer you on!

But there is something I need to rant about today, for just a little bit.

“Consumerism” in the church.

Some are clearly against it. Me? I’m all for it! But the key question is, which consumers?

The consumers inside the church? The ones that walk past a pastor and say, “Great message?” Or, the one who says, “I just can’t imagine church without small groups.” The sentiments might be the same as yours, but they are still consumer-mindset sentiments.

So, the real question becomes, “Which consumers are you going to listen to?” Will you listen to the consumers inside the church, or the consumers outside the church?

When you listen to consumers inside the church, you end up with multiple services, each with a different style of music. Or you have 87 ministries to meet every potential need. Except that next month you’ll have to add more to meet new needs.

When you listen to consumers outside the church, you start to look like Jesus. I’m definitely for that.