Spiritual Affluenza: The subtle work of darkness on our consumer-centered souls

The typical American Christian is suffering from "affluenza"

If you're not familiar with this term, you've probably not watched US news lately (not that it's all that great and worth watching, by the way!). There's a kid whose accused of murder and his attorney's case is built on the fact that his well-to-do parents gave him everything he wanted and expected nothing from him. He is claiming that this young man is suffering from a bad case of affluenza and he should not be held responsible for his irresponsible behavior.

When I look at the consumer-centric model of Western church life today, it smacks of spiritual affluenza. The church leadership and the big services do all the work of ministry for the members, and all they need to do is be a faithful volunteer and keep the engine running smoothly with some money from their paycheck.

The level of ownership of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sharing that Gospel message is definitely something every small groups pastor and lead pastor wants the members of their small groups to do... but they don't grab the baton and run with it. After a lot of hard work and probably a corporate push with a church-wide campaign, the leaders are left scratching their heads over why every effort to educate and mobilize small group members falls short.

I know I'm harping on various aspects of the big-box church in America, but it's where a majority of people are finding a affluenza-infested relationship with a church and God that doesn't require much. This is creating a house of cards that won't stand up to persecution, which is coming.

If you're reading this, don't let your small group members think that showing up is good enough. Ask each person who they are praying for to receive Christ and how often they're praying for that person and spending quality time with them. Be the "pebble in their shoe" to do what every believer should do naturally!

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