Friday, September 23, 2011

When Jesus is not at the center -

From my friend Nick Davis ; a summary of thoughts by Os Guinness -

Os Guinness poses that where Christ is not the central gaze, church leaders and ministers become one of the following:

  1. Pundit – the one for whom everything can be known; everything can be pronounced on, centred professionally on the importance of information. Knowledge is more powerful than Christ’s Humility.
  2. Engineer – the one for whom everything can be designed, everything can be produced, centred professionally on production. Production and administration are more important than Christ’s Love.
  3. Marketer – the one for whom everything can be positioned, everything can be sold, centred professionally on consumer satisfaction. Impact is more important than Christ’s Truth.
  4. Consultant – everything can be better organized, everything can be better delivered, centred professionally on management. Efficiency and workflow are more important than Christ’s Life.
  5. Therapist – everything can be gotten in touch with, everything can be adjusted or healed, centred professionally on healing. Human need is more important than Christ’s Mission.
  6. Impresario – everything can be conveyed to advantage through the presentation of images regardless of any reality, centred professionally on public relations. Sensation and Corporate Experience are more important than Imitating Christ.

Guinness states that these pathologies arise as a result of “church growth’s uncritical engagement with modernity”. In other words, the focus is on audience and church growth, no matter how rousing and noble the public ministry appears. “Sovereign Audience” has eclipsed “Sovereign Word” (“Dining with the Devil”, pp 69-70).

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