Do We Commodify Friendships?

Our church needs more members so that they can help pay the bills.”  Have you ever heard somebody say this at a church meeting?

Dear Jesus, have mercy.

Relational PastorI am struck by the commodification of our friendships, our spiritual communities, and – frankly – God.  It looks like this:

  • What can this friend do for me?
  • What can this church do for me?
  • What can God do for me?

I cannot speak to this better than Scot McKnight did in his own blog yesterday, referring to Andrew Root’s new book:

“Root explores a proposed history of ministry:

In the hunter-gatherer framework the minister is the cosmic storyteller.

In the agricultural framework the minister is the manager and mediator of divine things.

In the steam and coal transition — industrial revolution — the minister perpetuated and protected a way of life. The pastor is a moral exemplar.

In the electric and managed oil transition — the second industrial revolution — the minister is involved in programmed intervention. The pastor becomes an entrepreneurial, entertaining, and a self-help therapeutician. The model of ministry here is influence.

Are we in a new day? Are we entering into a new day of relational ministries? He proposes the new pastor will be the “convener of empathic encounter of personhood” (44)

Yes, this is a lazy post today.  But I can’t say it better than Andrew Root.

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