Why NO Dynamic Church Planting Movements in the West?
My, my, Alan Hirsch nailed this one!
Why don’t we see dynamic church planting movements in the West of the same magnitude that we are seeing in many parts of the developing world?
Consumerism is a major problem—largely for discipleship, but discipleship is needed before any movement can take place.Makes everything very hard doesn’t it. That’s why my heart burns for the West. Alan Hirsch co-author of The Shaping of Things to Come
Hyper-reality: people live in a consumerist paradise. Or what at least appears to be a paradise. The market economy, effectively a religious alternative to Christianity, has delivered us a lifestyle that replaces what heaven has always stood for in the Judeo-Christian tradition. All is available now we don’t have to put our longings off and connect them with hope in God. The market creates a false immediacy. Life is like a Sunday afternoon, people can’t feel the need for the gospel.
There are few (if any) places in western, market dominated, democracies that mass people movements ala China have been able to activate and maintain themselves. The environment is inimical to the kind of energies that are required for networked exponential movements.
A pervasive existential crisis of belief and meaning in the West. And this relates to worldview. The genre of belief in non-Western contexts is different to both the modern or post-modern cultural environments that we live in. Indian, Chinese, or African movements can be written off as fundamentalist by westerners. I don’t think they are in the way that we mean it (hard-line pharisaism) but they certainly look like it in our eyes. Transformative movements are filled with people who really believe that their message is the answer to the world’s problems…..they believe and they act out of their belief. Westerners struggle to really believe.
I picked this post off Steve Addison’s World Changers