The industrial revolution changed the pattern of human productivity by standardizing work into shifts. Prior to the revolution people worked on their own schedule. If you were an early riser, you worked early, if you were a night owl, you worked late.
Because we have always been heavily involved with church work, many of you may be curious about where we are going to church and what we are doing spiritually. So, here are my thoughts:
The industrial revolution has certainly brought more efficiency, but at what cost? I would argue that it is at the cost of the fulfillment that a person feels in being who they are and doing what they do. There is just something about being able to do what you enjoy, and doing it well, that brings peace to your life. Instead, we dread Mondays and laud Fridays, over and over again until our short lives have slipped by leaving a string of regrets. Somewhere along the line, our forefathers sold their hearts and passion for “productivity” and left us to live an unfulfilled life.
It appears that this “Industrial Revolution effect” has also happened in the lives of Christians. There was a time when Christians would gather together and each person was able to share their uniqueness. One had a song, one had a word of encouragement, one had a supernatural revelation and one would teach. Not unlike the times prior to the industrial revolution, people were allowed to be who they were and express that uniqueness amongst their community. Much like the Industrial Revolution, efficiency has been introduced. We are taught to no longer trust people (unless they are on staff) to have a relationship with God and express that relationship in their own unique way. We have formalized it into a process. Today, people march into a church week after week and get sung to and spoken to via a well rehearsed process only to leave much the same way that they came. I am not saying that this is of no benefit, I am saying it has much the same result as any other “group therapy” formula. It is efficient in stopping the person with destructive tendencies and making everyone look and sound the same.
The problem is that people are not designed to all look and act the same. forcing that to happen leaves people without a sense of fulfillment. I believe this results in a form of Godliness, that effectively has no power. Pastor Eric, at Cornerstone church in Hudson, once taught about secular historians recording that as the church became more formalized the supernatural demonstrations of power became less and less frequent. This may explain the lack of modern day documentation of miracles. It is not that they no longer can happen, it is that there is no room in the program for them.
I am interested in having employment that uses the uniqueness that I was created for. Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 says ” to enjoy your work and accept your lot in life–this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past”. I am not sure what that “job” looks like for me here in Tennessee, but I am trusting God to show me. I do not want to dread Mondays and laud Fridays for the next 30 years.
Likewise, with a church. I want to find a place (or make a place) where people can come together and share the overflow of their day and thereby encourage each other in the pursuit of God in all of His power. I have not lost my faith I am pursuing it more diligently than I ever have. I want to tap into that power that was so evident with early believers that it was undeniable.
If you are interested in further reading on this subject of church and the changes that history has made to it, I recommend that you read ” Pagan Christianity” by George Barna and Frank Viola. Careful, though, it is not for the weak at heart.