I've noticed that the glorification of business is catching my attention a lot lately. I’m not sure if this is because I’m getting annoyed by our consumer, microwave-esque culture or what, but so many of us are living lives at a ridiculous pace. Those with families are running from one activity to another, eating supper in the car more often than eating at a table, and even single people are filling their schedules to the brim “because they have the time.”
I will say that sometimes a season of busyness is needed. There are times in our lives when we have to pack our schedules full because that’s just how life is at that particular moment. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and I’m afraid we can’t keep up our dead-sprint way of living forever. Sprinting is meant for short bursts, and if it’s abused something is going to break.
The thing that bothers me the most about having such a busy lifestyle is I don’t think we take time to stop and reflect on what we are doing. We just go and go and go without necessarily thinking about why we're going and going and going. This is surprisingly evident in the church as well. We’re so busy creating programs and serving in all possible areas, swearing all our work is for God, but are we stopping to ask ourselves if we’re doing the right work?
In his book Immeasurable: Reflections on the Soul of Ministry in the Age of Church, Inc., Skye Jethani encourages pastors to take a look at what they are doing and reflect on the benefits of what they are doing. Jethani argues that our churches have succumbed to the consumer culture rampant in America, and it’s causing pastors to be overworked and burnt out. We’ve begun to build our churches after business models. We’ve created programs and services to grow numbers, but are we growing disciples?
While I’m not a pastor, I would recommend Immeasurable to anyone interested in church leadership or anyone who works with people. Each chapter shares Jethani’s reflections on a particular issue, and there were many tidbits that I felt were applicable to my life. At the end of the chapters, Jethani includes a couple questions for readers to reflect on. These questions not only challenge the pastors to reflect on their leadership but also encourages them to seek counsel and admonishment from other members of their leadership team.
With a culture that is continually shouting bigger is better and more is greater, it’s important for us to take a step back and make sure our churches are offering programs that encourage spiritual maturity in people, not just growth in the number of people sitting in the pews each Sunday.
I received this book from Moody Publishers to review.