If a pastor’s sense of worth is linked to the impact of his or her ministry, guess what believers under that pastor’s care are told is most important? And so a new generation of people who believe their value is linked to their accomplishments is birthed. If the cycle continues long enough an institutional memory is created in which the value of achievement for God is no longer questioned. Leaders may be burning out at a rate of 1,500 per month, young people may be riddled with anxiety, and divorce rates in the church may be rising and families falling apart, but no one stops. No one asks whether this is really what God intended the Christian life to be. No one asks, at least out loud, because that might slow things down. Remember, the work must go on. Impact, man!
I am almost cried from sheer joy to see these words. Why? Because I have been asking these questions and out loud. I have asked, “Why is Paul so silent on evangelism?” I have expressed some of these concerns in my criticism of the criticism of the American Dream. I have wondered about the word/idea of “missional” itself? And I have been asking for over a year, “Is there a God of the mundane?” And hopefully my book (coming soon?) will be louder yet.
Many of us are asking these kinds of questions but in our celebrity-pastor driven church-culture where missional is the justification for all other behavior, it is almost impossible to be heard above the din.
I am thankful Skye Jethani is able to ask such a question with the volume needed and a skill which transcends my own.
Update: Part two is now up in which he points out that…
…the prescribed solution I hear in many ministry settings is to transform people from consumer Christians into activist Christians.