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June 30, 2008
A prophetic illustration by Tim Ayers in 1994.
posted by UrL Scaramanga
| Comments (18)
Related Tags: Church attendance, Church Health, Consumerism, Decision making, Humor, Trends
Unfortunately I guess we would have to admit that this cartoon was partially correct. I don't know of any who do it at the same time, but I certainly know of a number of churches in my own hometown that run different styles of services on a Sunday in order to attract a larger number of people. I am certainly not against large churches, even a church of 4,000 or more if done right, but this kind of marketing bothers me on so many levels. Besides the fact that it seems to miss the whole point on having a unified body in the local church, the thought that these churches are basically saying "It's okay to resist change and just be rigid in your faith" seems to me to only reinforce the problem with most American Christians. Not cool.
Posted By: Todd Burus | June 30, 2008 9:10 AM
One word, and one word only describes this cartoon:
Posted By: sheerahkahn | June 30, 2008 10:16 AM
It should say "Church-O-Plex 6" with two services dedicated to 'Ancient-Future'.
Posted By: Melody | June 30, 2008 10:25 AM
i'm not sure this is what paul had in mind when he wrote, "all things to all people"...
todd made some sense above: is this model really able to achieve unity in a church? maybe some people can speak in the comments here to some successes they've had with unity in (extreme) diversity.
fairburn, georgia, usa
Posted By: mike rucker | June 30, 2008 10:55 AM
Glad to see there is no emerging on the billboard, because we don't use em and we don't hold "services."
Posted By: Sam Andress | June 30, 2008 5:35 PM
Popcorn and a Coke and we are good to go, next showing in 20 min
Posted By: b richter | June 30, 2008 7:03 PM
Spot the Common threads:
Consumerism? Dualism (sacred space vs. secular space) Attractionalism? Extractionalsim?
Posted By: Phil K | June 30, 2008 9:12 PM
Since the reformation the church has been increasingly splintered. A new trend, as depicted by this cartoon is the multi-venue church. I see this as somewhat of a restoration of unity in the midst of diversity. The historic option is to have “Seeker Service” be a church which meets in the local elementary school cafeteria, the Healing and Miracle Service” is a church that meets in an industrial park, the “Old Fashion Gospel Service” is a church that meets under the steeple in the center of town, and the “Communion Service” meets at the cathedral in the rich neighbourhood. Is that better?
Posted By: Jess Blasongame | July 1, 2008 11:42 AM
It is just good stewardship. Have four churches meeting in one building. There is after all a great chance in this setting for a Catholic to speak to a Charismatic, to speak to a Methodist, to speak with a... than there is when we are spread all over the community. Or maybe church unity means all using the same translation, singing the same hymns, wearing the same clothes, cutting our hair the same,etc. And for those so afraid of consumerism, what drew you to consume what was offered at your church. It is not how the service is structured that is the basis of consumerism, it is what you do or don't do when you leave the building that defines whether you have consumed, or have been truly transformed.
Posted By: Stephen | July 1, 2008 3:41 PM
The structure of the gathering IS a big part of what makes it consumerism or not. If it is a crowd oriented gathering focused on the personal expression of ONLY the hired help, then the style of the event must match up with the STYLE that people are looking for. The people have no part in any personal expression or personal involvement of how or what of anything, then it is consumerism. If the gathering demands that 85% of the giving be CONSUMED to make the event happen, then it IS consumerism. This is the institutional form of church life no matter what style of facilities, no matter if 100 or 5000 people show up.
There is another form of gathering described in the NT that actually matches up to the IDENTITY Christ has designed for his church that involves direct, personal participation of everyone present, therefor it is not a consumption by the believer but a gift or contribution given by him to his fellow believers. This kind of gathering requires no special facilities at all, nor requires any hired expert so 100% of the giving can actually be giving rather than 85% pooling to buy stuff for the givers.
Take a look at Heb. 10:24,25 and notice the instructions for "one another" oriented communication that qualifies as "not forsaking assembling". This kind of communication requires "church preparation" 7 days a week by every believer. It should be no surprise that bad substitutes for this are the most widely popular - like the wide road that leads to destruction.
Posted By: Tim | July 2, 2008 3:56 PM
Multi-Venue churches are a healthy and growing trend, and I thank God for them! It takes all types of churches to reach all types of people. Not every church or every style has to have my "stamp of approval" to be used by God.
Posted By: Brent | July 3, 2008 12:24 PM
The cartoon is prophetic in that it predicted fourteen years ago what we recognize as a growing trend today: multiple venue churches housed in movie theaters offering multiple worship styles simultaneously. In 1994 it was funny. Today it is ministry.
Posted By: Url | July 3, 2008 12:35 PM
Churches have always done this since I was a kid. We have had Sunday school, Wednesday evening services, revivals, prayer meetings, cottage prayer meetings, all night watches and all night prayer meetings, children's worship, retreats, camps, conferences, cell groups, etc.
The "new" churches just use different terms.
Posted By: Gary Sweeten | July 6, 2008 12:42 PM
The church is not splintered when it meets at different places with different songs and different preachers. The unity of the church comes not from uniformity but abiding in Jesus.
Posted By: Gary Sweeten | July 7, 2008 12:15 PM
Usher: Deak, you think we should spend time in different trees?
Deacon: Are you nuts? The pastors complain about "church hoppers" and then they keep changing the services to attract them...
Usher: So who's actually doin' the hoppin?
Posted By: Deacon & Usher | July 12, 2008 8:27 AM
Actually, I think this is great. I live in the Salt Lake area, and churches struggle to get buildings (it seems the "churches who have plenty should give to those in need" injunction by Paul is irrelevant today). Our local megaplex rents out their facilities on Sunday Mornings since schools here are not allowed to. There are presently Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and independent churches holding services there Sunday morning. What an opportunity for different views to fellowship. I love it!
Posted By: Andrew | July 12, 2008 9:18 PM
I wasn't trying to be prophetic. I actually wanted to start that church. Looking back I am smarter than I thought.
Posted By: Tim Ayers | February 18, 2011 3:52 PM
From the cartoonist. I actually liked the idea of multiple options in a church. I do have to laugh at how much it did predict the current scene for churches. Thanks to everyone for the nice comments about the work.
Posted By: Tim Ayers | February 18, 2011 10:42 PM
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