Continuing my highly derivative series on church trends, the next six are from Carey Nieuwhof’s post 6 Disruptive Church Trends That Will Rule 2017.
Trend 12: Consumer Christianity Will Die Faster Than Ever
Really? Nieuwhof explains,
Our faith calls us to live for Christ and to love and reach the world for which He died.
As the church reformats and repents, a more authentic, more selfless church will emerge.
When you’re no longer focused on yourself and your viewpoint, a new tone emerges.
If your church is still defined by what you ‘offer’ members to satisfy them, and isn’t defined by how you love each other and the world around you, the clock is ticking faster than ever.
Men and women who are centers of influence among evangelical churches are increasingly sensitive to the problem of consumer Christianity. The church growth movement, while a needed corrective in the sense that we needed to make the changes that would lead to growth, often stooped to using Western marketing techniques.
Jesus and the church became a product to be sold by explaining the value received by the member — friends! sermons that help you get through the week! weight-loss classes! free gym membership! church league softball! free coffee! hottest band in town! If you want it, we’ve got it!
But the church can’t compete with Gold’s Gym, Starbucks, or even the local country club on their own terms. And why would we want to? The goal isn’t to sell memberships but to make disciples — and that means people who follow Jesus, people who want nothing more than to be just like their rabbi.
Discipleship requires that we read our Gospels, and the more we get into the Gospels, the more we find that Christianity is much more about surrendering oneself rather than getting a good deal on the preacher’s audiobooks.
The church is losing nominal members, but the members who stay are becoming more and more convinced of the necessity for true discipleship.