Ingredient Two: Cultural Flourishing
As I discussed in my first book, The Divine Commodity, when church institutionalism grows out of control, we come to believe that programs rather than people are the vessels of God's Spirit and mission in the world. When this occurs we begin to honor people for their involvement in, or service for, the church. But what they do with the remainder of their time gets little attention. When this assumption is reinforced over decades, a hierarchy of importance is established with church leaders (pastors and missionaries) at the top. Others are then only celebrated when they behave like pastors or missionaries, or when they leave their "worldly" professions to devote themselves to "full-time Christian service."
What I'm describing is the contemporary Western church's abandonment of a theology of vocation. During the Reformation church leaders began to apply the term "vocation" (Latin for "calling") to all believers ...1