He’s observing that the Church (as a whole) has become a place of consumption for too long and that Sunday morning is losing its value. People come to a building, sit in the seats, sing songs written by people outside of their own church, listen to a pastor, rinse and repeat week after week. With the advancement in both content consumption tools and content creation tools in our culture it takes much less than driving to church to hear a good sermon. Vince writes:
“Users can watch video of the best bible teachers, preachers and expositors from all over the world when ever and where ever they like. If the experience is simply about consuming content then showing up to a certain place at a certain time is inefficient.”
Stating the Sunday is losing its value is a pretty radical concept, and I’m glad that he has a good balance of perspective by saying “We all know that the church experience is about so much more than simply consuming content but the truth is, there are a lot of people who don’t get much more out of their church experience than that.”
He goes on to say that “Gen X and Y/millennials are much more content in community in which they have a voice.” While that might be true for many, is it true across the board? Here’s what I observe from people in general, not necessarily in the context of the church:
- People watch A LOT of TV (either in front of the actual television or on their laptops or devices)
- People play A LOT of computer games (again, either in front of their console or on Facebook or on their devices)
- People read A LOT of books (physical, Kindle, eBooks, whatever)
- People seem to consume, consume, consume
- My extended family is actively involved in theatre but don’t put nearly the effort into creating for the church that they do into their local theatre community
- Many musicians I know attend church but invest much more time in playing and writing with their own musical community then investing time to write and produce music for their local church
- Writers seem to write in many places but not for the church
- Visual artists are painting and sculpting, but not for the church
While congregational content creation would definitely shift the church from consumption to ownership, the problem isn’t training the church to help its people have a voice, it’s getting its people to create anything for the church in the first place!
While it is good and necessary to encourage our people to continue to create content outside the church as both an application of the gifts that God has blessed them with and an opportunity to model the life of a Christ-follower outside of the church walls, how does the Church equip the balance of creating both out of and for the church?
How do we move people who always consume to any position of becoming a creator in the first place, and how do we move creators into the mindset of spending and investing time creating for the church?
I don’t have the answers and I’d love a place to start. What do you think?