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Spencer Burke on the Church that Consumerism Built--and Why I Fled

The upcoming issue of Leadership deals with "Consumerism and the Church It Creates." We asked Spencer Burke to write about his journey from being a megachurch pastor to spiritual guide of an online community (TheOOZE.com). Below is a brief excerpt. The full article will appear in Leadership's July issue, along with some of the best of your comments about how we live out the nature of the church today.

When I gave up being a teaching pastor at a Southern California megachurch eight years ago, people around me were perplexed. After all, as jobs in professional ministry go, working at Mariners was a dream–big building, big budget, big salary. What wasn't to like?

Maybe I was burned out, they reasoned, but I'd be back. I was bound to get over my ministry midlife crisis eventually, right? But when months turned into years and I still hadn't been added to anyone's payroll, more than a few eyebrows went up. I kept talking about this online community, TheOoze.com. Sure, it was an interesting idea, ...

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