Painful Time

Today I was subjected to another satellite seminar that left me thinking, “Why am I here?”  Let me run down the list of things that caught my attention:

  • Standard generic seminar speaker cadence and pattern of presentation (just change the face and you won’t miss a beat) – check.
  • An over-long introduction that unsuccessfully attempted to show that the speaker is “one of us” – check.
  • At least 10 christianese catch phrases dropped to make the speak sound like they were profound when they weren’t – check.
  • completely misplaced metaphors and out of date analogies – check. (The first place 20 somethings go to look for a church is the yellow pages??)
  • Statements that showed the speaker made next to no attempt to contextualize the presentation for current circumstances – check.  (The speaker actually said, “Did you know that this generation carries more debt than any others?”  It wasn’t a tongue-in-cheek statement, it was just spat out as part of the script).
  • Endless description of trends with no attempt to engage the material – check.
  • Me wanting to scream – check.

In the end, I think this is what Evangelicalism™ is reduced to.  Devoid of theological reflection, depth is replaced by an endless litany of management seminars so that leaders can catch the trends and manage their congregations accordingly.  The thought that a pastor’s primary job really has nothing to do with being a corporate manager doesn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind.  So churches inevitably respond to the trends described for them completely devoid of the spiritual reflection necessary to into prophetic engagement with the world in which we live.  Kinda sad really.  Please, let’s end the mindless litany of managerial seminars and do some real theological introspection, ok?

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