This recent Q Ideas presentation by Andy Crouch has been making the rounds recently. Crouch speaks with a reassuring authority, which is good. And he brings a concern that many have been thinking about for a while to the forefront of the conversation. It’s 18 minutes well-spent.
I’ll be curious to see if churches think through this issue well at all. The kind of depersonalization that comes from instrumentalization is present in today’s church, mostly as a way of doing good “for the kingdom of God.” Instead of asking important questions about programs, we would rather plug people in under the guise of spiritual wisdom, which could potentially do more harm than good for those involved. Institutionalism and instrumentalization together will ultimately wear a church down and leave the whole system (if not the whole congregation) broken or running elsewhere for relief.