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Vintage Consumerism

Dan Kimball on the history and impact of consumer Christianity.

We caught up with Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, and author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church (Zondervan, 2007), at a conference where he was talking to other leaders about consumerism and the church. Kimball says the size of a church isn't what makes it consumer driven, but how the leaders define success.

You've been talking to other pastors about consumerism in the church and the impact it's had on our theology. How do you begin to recognize that impact?

You hear a lot of the complaints and valid criticism about the church being "a provider of religious goods and services," as Darrell Guder says in the Missional Church. I started thinking about my own church and asking could the leadership be the ones who are really guilty of this? How did that happen?

I began to think about our meeting spaces. The early church met in homes where it is easier to participate, people can contribute, can be more vocal, make a meal, whatever. And then worship moved ...

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