The consumer church or true Discipleship?

….. If the role of religion is to offer a sense of identity, purpose, meaning, and community, then it can be said that consumerism is a type of religion. Much that goes by the name of advertising is an explicit offer of identity, meaning, purpose, community, and significance. Most marketing strategies appeal to one or more of these religious impulses.

The challenge for the church in this situation is that it is forced to compete with the other invitations for our allegience and in the end can become just another vendor of goods and services. The church operating in an attractional mode, primarily run by professionals, has always been susceptible to this lure. Furthermore, under the influence of church growth practice, consumerism became the driving ideology of the church’s ministry. Its proponents taught us how to market and tailor the church to suit target audiences. By failing to intentionally focus on making disciples, we inadvertently cultivated religious consumerism. – Alan Hirsch ‘The Forgotten Ways Handbook’ P. 64-65.

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