Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Excerpt #6 (Condition)

Here's another quick excerpt from my upcoming book, Outsourcing God.

Condition is the overall perception of our church life. I'm not simply referring to a worship experience, small group experience, the preaching, the care, or any specific component of what makes up the Church. Instead, what I'm referring to is the overall inter-workings of everyone in the community we call Church.

Chances are most people that feel like they're stuck going in and out of the motions are not actively participating in church. If there is some sort of community involvement, it's most likely calculated, expressed, and lived out, in such a cookie-cutter manner, that it just leaves you feeling blah.

By outsourcing all of the mentioned components, the overall perception of the bride of Christ begins to crumble. This is a devastating effect on how both leaders in the church and the laity have ignored God's plan, and have succumbed to the god of convenience.

Consider another scenario: parenting. For as long as I can remember, there’s been a call for parents to get more involved in their children’s lives. I’m not sure when or what caused the overall decline of good, quality, parenting to collapse. Nonetheless, it remains a major problem, a hot button issue, and the family unit suffers.

There’s also been no shortfall on how to remedy this collapse either. Schools provide more care (before and after school programs) and more education/resources on issues previously deemed “family issues.” Another remedy has been the amount of assistance and involvement poured out and put in place by government. In this remedy however, has risen greater dependency and debate. On one side of the debate, people cry, “the school can’t teach that, it’s the parents’ responsibility!” On the other side, teachers and administrators decide that issues that are being neglected at home must be addressed. On one side of the debate, voices gather to demand smaller and less intrusive government. On the other side, the government is left to pickup the pieces of a fractured dilemma.

Whereas once matters of the family were left to truly be family matters, over time, culture has outsourced small pieces of personal and community responsibility. And no less depressing is the fact that the systems in place to meet the needs and fill in the gaps, is also creating broader gaps due to its intoxicating dependency.

The god of convenience outsources. The god of convenience hires away our encounter. The god of convenience hires away our health. The god of convenience hires away our belief. The god of convenience makes us lazy and uninvolved. The god of convenience scares away our doubts, questions, and belief. And over time, the church becomes nearly unrecognizable.

By outsourcing, the church we once held dear to our hearts, we’ve found ourselves in an almost unrecognizable condition.

© 2010 Ross Christopher Donaldson. Outsourcing God.


No comments: