Douglas Baker of the Baptist Messenger posted an article today about the “McDonaldization” of church in general and the Southern Baptist Convention in particular. You can read the entire article here.
First, this is pretty similar to what was discussed by John Mark Yeats and Tomas White in their book, Franchising McChurch that we have mentioned here before. Is the church more worried about be effecient than effective? Have replaced biblical community with slick programs, quick services, cool music, and the cult of personality?
Baker presents some sad information in his article. First, he comments about the relative biblical illiteracy of americans in quoting some stats from Gallup:
One Gallup survey discovered that less than half of Americans could name the first book of the Bible, only a third know who actually preached the Sermon on the Mount (Billy Graham is one of the most popular answers), and only a quarter of the entire population know that the Christian church actually celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead at Easter. Sixty percent cannot name half of the Ten Commandments
Baker goes on to say:
Pastoral ministry, therefore, has easily become in many congregations more the management of a religious franchise rather than personal ministry to people the Bible calls the bride of Jesus Christ.
Baker references the upcomming SBC Convention in Orlando and the reception of the Great Commission Resurgence report and the impact on the SBC.
Can we turn church into more than just a collection of programs. Can we measure success in a way that is more biblical than counting numbers? How does Christ define success? I believe He defines success as faithfullness, not results. Remember the parable of the talents? The two who were good stewards received the same reward even though one produced more results. Christ measured success by faithfullness. How do you define success in your church and your ministry?