Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Shallow Analogies

Mike Bell @ iMonk analogizes church to a pizza parlor.The analogy holds up pretty well, but it illustrates the problem of dealing in analogy - you try and sell pizza - church tries to change people. That is a pretty fundamental difference. So, when Bell says:
Here is the problem, like the pizza consultant, when your solutions don’t address why people are actually attending less frequently, you are likely to end up with the wrong solutions.

Take me for example, for a number of reasons, I am very close to burnout. When I hear words like “active”, “committed”, “involvement”, and “monitor attendance”, it is going to produce the opposite of the intended effect in me. If I hear these words from the pulpit on a Sunday morning, I am going to be less likely, not more likely, to attend the following week. I am burnt out and you want a larger commitment from me?!?
I think, maybe the issue is that Bell should be more committed. Changing people takes genuine deep life long commitment. Asking for more commitment is not necessarily a bad thing.

The problem is, I think, that we ask people to commit to church instead of to God. Commitment to church should flow from commitment to God, but if we do not do things in the right order, it may not. Church growth can and will occur if the community in the church is deep and abiding and truly reflects the image of God. But if that community reflects the image of Wal-Mart, well, who wants to commit anything to Wal-Mart?

Maybe we need to step outside the analogy sometimes and look at the deeper issues.


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