Fitch and McKnight – Revealing Interview

kinnon —  December 13, 2007 — 3 Comments

Dave and Scot are in discussion on WMBI right now…for the 2nd time today. I’m listening via the web. Dave responds to his experience from this morning. An excerpt:

The big problem with Willowcreek and many forms of American church is that it assumes the church is an institution that exists to satisfy needs – as they exist – unredeemed. When we organize church to do this it changes the very nature of the church making it unrecognizable as the people of God called to live the reality of His excellence before the world (1 Pet 2:9). The problem with the REVEAL report is that it takes all of this one step further, making spiritual growth into a consumerist personal need to be serviced by the church.

Read all of Dave’s post, please.

One comment right now after listening is that I am surprised to what level Scot McKnight is sounds like an apologist for Willow Creek the Consumer Church.

UPDATE: On his blog post, after stating that Reveal co-author Hawkins’ criticism of bloggers is that ‘they haven’t read* the report or tried to call him’, Dave winsomely offers Hawkins, McKnight and others, that he will host an off Willow-campus conference

…bringing Willow, theologians and pastors together. I will charge only the cost to cover the expenses. LET’S GO! You know where to reach me. Put a comment on this blog or e-mail me via Blessings!

I recorded the WMBI show with Audio Hijack and will give it a listen again and will probably have further thoughts. A friend has sent me a link to Greg Hawkins’ talk about Reveal this past weekend @ Willow – I’m grabbing it to listen in iTunes later. (The site doesn’t allow internal links – so you’ll have to search it out for yourself.)

*Dave has read Reveal. I have not. I have surfed the Reveal site and watched the videos, however, and I’m still shocked by Hybels’ comparison of personal fitness trainers and creating personal spiritual training – it’s still the Consumer Church at work. Sorry Scot et al.

Hybels audio clip below.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

3 responses to Fitch and McKnight – Revealing Interview

  1. Bill,
    Hybels talked about the reavel study this weekend, however I did not hear it and would be interested to see if there was any spin in the talk.

  2. A consumerist approach assumes that there are owners of the church and consumers of the church’s products and services.

    One way to get at this is to ask about personal accountability and responsibility. This came to me the other day as I was having coffee with a guy who is a member of a Willow Creek style church here in town. His church is establishing satellite churches in the region. It hit me as he described the structure of this approach that the people who are part of a satellite church have no ultimate accountability for their congregation. It isn’t really their church. It belongs to the mother church.

    What that structures says is that we want to meet your needs where you are. We’ll put a “pastor” in your community. We’ll feed “preaching” into your location and your needs will be met. But it won’t be your church. It is still ours.

    I know traditional denominations – mine – that are trying the same thing because they have been influenced by Andy Stanley’s success. They see it as a solution to the problems of declining churches in small towns. I see it as simply a way to deny responsibility for their church by passing off the solution to someplace else.

    For me the question is, are we willing to have less people in church, have fewer people who call themselves Christian, if it meant we were a church where each member accepted responsibility and accountability. I don’t know. The standards have been lowered so the numbers will increase. We are so far away from understanding what a transformed life is that I’m not sure anyone could spot one if they saw it.

  3. It’s really amazing how deeply embedded within our psyche the consumerism mentality can be.

    My dad was a research psychiatrist and he always pointed out to me that everyone has areas in their life of cognitive dissonance. Some are more public than others. It would seem that we’ve discovered McKnight’s …


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