Chapter 37

Turning an Audience into the Church

Transforming consumers into the committed

The dynamics of the modern congregation can be discouraging. Sunday has become just another day to consume. Those who do attend worship nearly demand to be entertained. But they are still a Christian congregation, and we do well to treat them as such. How do we preach to such a crowd week after week? How can we move them from being individualistic consumers to a community of saints responding to God's Word?

Is church life a leisure activity?

A number of factors inhibit our Sunday morning crowds from being a congregation, and the first is that our people have adopted many of the values of our consumer and leisure society.

We see this in people's lifestyles. One pastor in Colorado complained because of his congregation's weekend trips. His church is located in a suburb of Denver, and many in his congregation own condos in Breckenridge or Vail. Certain periods of the year—ski season, for example, which can run from early November to the middle of April—many otherwise ...

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