IN THIS EPISODE
When you have an expectator-oriented worship service you are teaching people that the christian life is expectating and one in which you then evaluate how the service went and join the consumeristic, capitalism of churches competing for the loyalty and attendance of the church-going public.
Kent Carlson is a big cajuna for the NAB (North American Baptist) denomination in almost all of North America (excludes Mexico, lol)
Kent has more than 35 years of experience working with churches and was Pastor of Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California. He wrote a book called “Renovation of the Church: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation”. In his book we find some interesting questions that are relevant in today’s American Church specially after the recent Covid-19 lockdowns which turned a lot of the churches programming into a digital experience. We are also borrow a few ideas from “Rings of Fire” by Leonard Sweet in light of Kent’s denominational experience.
Millennials and GenZs are leaving the church in droves and they’re not coming back, they don’t want to take over daddy’s business. And so we have to figure out ways to empower, elevate the voices of millennials, generation-Z and let them lead us into the future, because we don’t know how to do it and is a little pathetic when guys like me start putting skinny jeans and do whatever we need to do to try to attract the crowd.
Describe what the Disneyland Formula is
How do we move on from expectatorship to spiritual formation?
Distancing ourselves from personal ambition
What’s your relationship now a days with the megachurch experience?
I find myself continually torn between my dual roles as an institutional guy and a radical prophet
You have this symbiotic relationship where the pastor will give people what they desire happening in church service: cool music, good speaking, all the kind of bells and whistles that go along with that great experience and people will reward that by their attendance, by their giving. Unless the church stops doing this good-a-job then they will try another one that does an even better job. You can’t make disciples of Jesus Christ in that environment, it just won’t happen.
Quote from “Rings of Fire” by Leonard Sweet: “Is not accident that the mediating structures known as nation-states and denominations are coming apart at the seams and at the center and it was probably no accident that they both appeared in the same decade in the 17th century”
The Rise of corporations and forecast for the church in the future
The syncretism in the United States is a syncretism with enlightenment individualism with sometimes White nationalism, with American Exceptionalism. And so our understanding of christianity is blend very tightly with success, keeping our way of life. The ability to wrap the flag around our christian teachings is scary in my mind. Christianity at its core is an invitation to a different way of living and there are aspects of our nation’s cultures that are not oriented around that.