Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Curing Consumerism

Just one more dot and I'll be satisfied...
We're consumers by nature. We stand in long lines to buy fancy shiny trinkets only to replace them in a few months. The iPad gets replaced with the iPad2.468768 and Faltscreens get replaced with 4D Surround Sound Home Theaters. And I'm not knocking anyone with technology. Technology is a good thing. Prezi (as soon as I can figure out how to use it) makes life so much easier and without the blue dot on Google Maps I would forever be lost. But, when searching the heart, why are we so eager to sacrifice the mission of God for our own comforts?

If you're reading this and it sounds eerily similar to a post I made a few months back, you're right. For some reason it really upsets me that we've turned church into another thing that we consume. Church becomes a means to our ends. We say that if you need community, if you feel down, if you need inspiration, if you want to hear some live cover's of Christ Tomlin and Hillsong... come to church. But that's not why the church exists.

The cure to consumerism is being missionally minded. The church, if it is to serve as a reflection of God, must be about the mission of God because it exists to glorify God. And if it isn't, then we're just attending a Christian Country Club (btw I hate country clubs). We have to be missional. But what does that mean? What does that look like?

A missional church is:
  • Concerned with the Lost- it asks the question, how does _______ (music, service time, etc) reach out to lost people?
  • Pursuing the Lost- the preaching, members, and regular attenders are all looking to share Jesus because they love Jesus.
  • Worshiping Christ's Glory- it understands that Christ's glory is both the end and the means. It seeks to fill the earth with the image of Christ.
  • Seeking to Be Transformed by the Gospel- it seeks to kill sin, tear down idols, address issues, and become more like Christ.
  • Proclaiming the Glory of Christ and His Gospel- it teaches about Jesus, seeks to learn more about Jesus, and be more like Jesus.
Let's be about our Father's buisnessl!
Notice that nowhere in the list is our preferences or comforts. It doesn't say anything about a type of music or style of preaching. As Christians, we can sacrifice our comforts so that the lost can find Christ. We don't have to be enslaved to our own desires anymore!

The gospel frees us to live radically different lives. This doesn't just mean that the Christian stops sleeping around, looking at R-rated movies, and gambling. It means that our entire worldview crumbles and is replaced by one that is Christ centered. I see the first two aspects of a mission church (which involve the lost) getting sacrificed incredibly quickly as churches and Christians sell themselves back to the slavery of their comforts.

You were called and saved for so much more than this! You don't have to chase the wind, you don't have to waste your time on pleasures that don't last... stop drinking from the broken cistern.

In my own life, I'm hoping for a mindset shift. I hope to start thinking and praying with a mindset that is prepared for God to move through his church to reach the lost. I hope to always see empty seats in a church because, if they ever get filled, it's time to find a way to empty them so they can be filled all over again. I hope to be prepared to see a people that is willing to risk friendships, relationships, jobs, finances... everything for the sake of seeing Yahweh's gospel advance through their city, state, and world. I hope to see a church and a people that refuses to worship at the feet of the idol of "comfort" and chooses the glory of God instead.