Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spiritual Economy

a Jesus thought...
If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. (Matthew 19:21)

a Godly thought...
In the church today improvement and invitation still have a place, but they should be secondary to incarnation and involvement. (p96 Yuill)

a leading thought...
Leadership in the church was often expressed as being about matching, hatching and dispatching now we must be managers of change, missiologists, masters of strategy, and merchants of spiritual commerce. (p99 Yuill)

a Dave thought...
In the Age today

People are in debt up to their eyebrows and they tell me it's good for the economy. But it's destroying our spiritual economy. Is this the spiritual recession we had to have? Kids want to lie on the grass watching the clouds roll by with chilled-out parents. Not be dragged through shopping centres by harassed mums and dads trying to anaesthetise their existential pain by purchasing more stuff to plug in and more stuff to store.
On any perfect 25-degree windless Sunday you will find Chadstone, Northland, DFO and all those soul-destroying cathedrals of emptiness chockers with people attempting to sedate. Take two transactions and call me in the morning. They'd be better off spending a few hours sitting in a church. And that's coming from an atheist. Greed and consumption addict people and they spend weekends trawling shopping centres chasing the next hit.
Happy is the man who is content with what he has. And the woman who needs only one pair of good shoes and a library card. Maybe I should follow the advice of the graffiti I read last week: SHUT UP AND SHOP.

You know our world is in trouble when you have a journalist and self confessed atheist from our major newspaper telling people they are better off sitting in church than shopping. Consumerism has peaked in Australia and many of us are caught in the trap without even realising it. But society is not only to blame as unless we model a different lifestyle or tell an alternative story things will never change.

The challenge for us is that we don't just push the 'market-driven church' and expect that the people will give up the shops on Sunday and come to us because we do church so well, but rather we must go to the people with an alternative story that is real and engaging. I suggest we plant Chadstone Temple, and do our church service on Sunday in the shopping centre at least then when the service is over we don't have as far to travel to the shops for the after service.

Just a thought.


Anonymous said...

"Merchants of spiritual commerce" and "market driven church", two important points that has a great deal to do with the shape of the present church, and even TSA. In many ways we have commodified the Gospel and become vendors of religious goods and services. To this notion we attach the language of production, marketing, sales,clients, and consumption. Our social services and corps become retail outlets of the TSA brand as we seek to capture market share. This raises the question, How do we shift from the structure of TSA life that seems to reviolves around the vendor notion to one that forms itself around the idea that we are a body of people who are called and sent to particpate in God's mission in the world?

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,
I think there is already a Church which meets in Chadstone!
Amanda VM