Thursday, February 07, 2008

Kingdom of God Consumerism

Found this article at the Leadership Journal site last night. It addresses the possibility in the future of the franchised church.

They already exist. Rick Warren argues in The Purpose Driven Church that this is exactly what denominations are -- simply different flavors of Christianity that suit different personalities. And also, now, there are Purpose Driven churches, Willow Creek churches, & Northpoint-style churches. Is this like having McDonald's vs. Chick-Fil-A?

The writer of this particular article asks these questions:

Is this the future of the Western church- franchised congregations of megabrands in every city with pastors serving as the local owner/operator?
What do you think? Are (these churches) and other franchised congregations the wave of the future? Are Chick-fil-A and McDonalds the right model for the church to be emulating? Are franchised mega-churches going to be the denominations of the 21st century? Or, is this consumer Christianity taken to its logical and disturbing extreme?

I have one question to add: does the 1st Corinthians passage about unity ("I'm of Apollos, I'm of Cephas, I'm of Paul, I'm of Christ...") bring anything to bear in addressing this issue? That is, in terms of churches making the statement, "I'm of Rick Warren, I'm of Bill Hybels, I'm of Christ, etc."

What say YOU?


Chad Billy-Steve Pknicholson said...

I would say that I am of the Christ group, obviously. I mean, it's the Church of Christ? Hello?

Jordan said...

I am definitely from a Christ church. Now I say that with definite feelings. 1 year ago, I would say that, but wonder how many were from the Prentice showing us Christ church. It is a little different atmosphere among those at the congregation now, and it is a change I like.

Matt said...

I doubt Rick Warren or Bill Hybels would say any of that was a very good idea. Yet people are looking for good quality leadership and when they find solid ground in the church or church leadership, they often miss the fact that the foundation does not come through the minister or ministers. It comes only through Jesus Christ. That is why some churches fall to pieces when the minister has an affair, comes out as gay, or whatever. They forget that they never stood on the minister's shoulders in the first place.

III said...

I guess I'm really more concerned with the consumerist element of this reality. I don't quite know what I think about it (whether it's good or bad), but it makes me concerned about cultural syncretism.