The story goes that in 1903 a Michigan banker convinced his client not to invest in Henry Ford’s company because, as he put it, “the horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty.” It wasn’t too many years before the automobile became the norm for worldwide transportation.
One of my favorite hymns in recent years is the hymn, “Here I Am, Lord.” I remember a time in my life about 12 years ago when God was moving me to a place of action. I had been involved in Disciple Bible Study for almost two years. The message for me as I read and studied the scripture, time and time again, was that God invites imperfect people to be involved in the work of God’s perfecting love. I certainly knew that I was not perfect, but somehow I sensed that God wanted to use me.
We are members of a consumer culture. Value is derived by acquisition and production. Our culture teaches us that those who own bigger, better stuff, and have a lot of it, must be important. We are also taught that the busier a person is the more valuable that person must be. Through media, business practices, and social norms, consumption and production become the standard measures that legitimate our existence. Therefore, it should be no surprise that consumerism often bleeds into the life of the church. It is not uncommon for us to approach worship as consumers.