I tried my darndest this week to create a little makeshift logo that would communicate my commitment (and hopefully yours) to not being a consumer. But, since I don't have the graphics program to make such an object, I'll just have to describe it to you. I envisioned a "no" sign with the words "CONSUMER MENTALITY" in the middle of it. Then, perhaps above or below the sign I was going to place these words, "I WILL NOT TREAT JESUS'S CHURCH LIKE A GOOD OR SERVICE."
The reason I chose this topic for this particular week is because I heard "it" once again. What's "it"? Yet again, I overheard someone state their disappointment in their church because they didn't offer a particular service. Oh Lord, I thought to myself as my heart broke once again, When will it end?
If you're part of some type of organic church expression, then you know organic church folks aren't immune to the consumer bug either; after all, consumerism is no respecter of persons. If your world view is that of a consumer, then that world view will inevitably bleed into every part of your life, including whatever it is you do "organically." For some, you're
wondering about the kids. Are the children really getting what they need at house church? For others, it's the Bible question. Wouldn't we all grow so much more if we had an experienced Bible teacher around? Are these good questions? Maybe. But I'll tell you this; most of the time these questions are accompanied by a consumer mentality. Instead of being patient and looking for ways to fix whatever the perceived problem is, many start looking for a way out.
Well, I for one, refuse to be a consumer. If something's not working, the first place I'm going to look is in the mirror. How can I raise my boys in the Lord better? How can I get more out of the Word? But it doesn't stop there. As one committed to a non-consumer life, I must help others with their children, with their understanding of the Bible (without enabling them).
And remember, any attempt to compartmentalize is futile. If we actually think we can live the non-consumer life when with other believers while regularly consuming what the world has to offer, then we're mistaken. Remember, the Christian life is all-consuming; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5:17)
While I may or may not get the logo I want (so I can ask you all to spread the word on your websites), I can ask that we all be committed to not being consumers. Jesus told his disciples, "...the Son of Man did not come to be served , but to serve..." (a service that required his death, Mt 20:28). He also told them, "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master" (Mt 10:24). Here's my guess. Never once did Jesus consume church services, his disciples, or the next conference. Instead, Jesus always offered himself for consumption (Jn 6:54). Should we not do the same?