Church as commodity

This morning a thought in prayer was this: The church must always be subversive. It needs to always be in the servant role.

Then I continued my meandering through A Burning in My Bones, the biography of Eugene Peterson.

Peterson came to the realization the he was called to pastor. It led him to work with the Presbyterian church to plant Christ Our King in Bel Air, Maryland, which was a new development at the time and had more corn than people in the area.

The Presbyterian church had plans for church planting, all neatly configured in a thick binder. Tabs and everything. Whatever problem Peterson might have, he could just find the appropriate tab and open it up to find the magic answers.

Winn Collier and Peterson take it from here:

Small portions (of the binder) may have been helpful. But Eugene noticed how little GOD had to do with any of it. He sensed something elemental shift — from God, the Cross, the Resurrection, and the living Spirit, to finding out what people wanted. And then giving it to them. “The ink on my ordination papers wasn’t even dry before I was being told by experts, so-called, in the field of church that my main task was to run a church after the manner of my brother and sister Christians who run service stations, grocery stores, corporations, banks, hospitals, and financial services.”

That was 60 years ago. The church was being treated as a commodity. We are reaping those “rewards.”

We need the subversive church. The servant church. The church underground.

A Burning In My Bones - By Winn Collier (Hardcover) : Target

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