Friday, May 24, 2013


Absolutely Nothing

Ron Edmondson asks, "What could the church learn from IKEA?" I will not bore you with his points as I reject the question on its face. There is a presumption in the question that I reject.

The question assumes that we are trying to sell a product in a competitive marketplace. We are not. People consume products, the church should consume people. I know, that sounds like a bad '50's cannibalism movie, let me lay it out a bit.

When people consume a product they are deciding how much of their life and energy it consumes - they decide what they like and don't like - the product is something apart from them that they manipulate. Christianity is not like that, it is not manipulable, it seeks rather to take hold of us and manipulate us into new creatures on the most fundamental of levels.

This is a very personal thing - it happens in the context of relationship - it can only happen in that context, hence the incarnation.

In contrast, modern shopping is designed, purposefully to take the human element out of it - mostly as a cost cutting measure. It is for a well informed public that knows the options and just wants to acquire the stuff. If anything modern shopping is designed to create a relationship with the store, not the people in it. That may result in brand loyalty, but does it change lives in any meaningful sense?

I realize IKEA is a successful retailer, but the church is not in the retail business.

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