Some of our most “successful” church models function less like a community and more like a “mall of religion”, dispensing spiritual goods and services to members, rather than building genuine community around a shared mission. In such a consumer oriented church culture, congregations will begin to lose their “market share” as soon as another church hits town offering trendier programs. Our surveys overwhelmingly reflects that “consumerism” is one of the most significant dysfunctions in the North American church. Consumerism is present in small churches and mega churches. Our research shows that it knows no denominational boundaries. At the same time, the insidious power of consumerism grows exponentially as a church attracts throngs of people and garners more media attention.
This consumer driven environment places an exceptionally heavy burden on leaders. Many of these churches have often unwittingly abandoned the mission of the church to make disciples and form a priesthood of believers. Just as our secular culture is celebrity crazed, our consumer church culture creates celebrities in the very places we need servants. JOE JURKOWSKI