In Genesis 12, God told Abraham that he would father a nation that would impact and transform the world. Their distinguishing characteristics: functioning as an interdependent and collaborative kingdom of priests under his direct leadership (Exodus 19), in his presence (Exodus 33).
Unfortunately, God’s people got off script real quick. They did not want to be distinctive in this way, but wanted to be in vogue with the surrounding nations. The wanted a ‘visible’ king. They wanted to enforce God’s promises by going head to head with the competition.
Like Israel, Christians have tended toward fashion and competitiveness.
We live in a consumer society, in a culture of big, loud, and fast brands, where production and performance rule. It is very tempting to want to harness these elements of cultural influence to accomplish the work of God.
This way of thinking has resulted in a 'produced' Christianity where the few create events and resources for the many. Sadly, this is one of the reasons that we are multiplying consumers rather than transformers.
This dynamic is very evident in corporate worship, which, in many countries around the world, has reached such a high production value that only a select few get to lead and contribute. Worship should be the most accessible and transformative of all of the experiences we share as believers!
The world’s fastest growing religion is not Christianity or Islam, but consumerism. Yet, consumerism leads to a deep sense of dissatisfaction. Depression, anxiety, and stress are at an all-time high in our world. No wonder an increasing number of believers and spiritual pathfinders feel disengaged from 'produced' Christianity!
Rock arenas may seat thousands of people, but they still can’t hold all the Christians who feel disenfranchised by the current trends.
The good news is that more and more Christ followers want to move from consumption toward engagement. The idea of a collaborative—albeit, messy—priesthood where everyone has a chance to contribute is gaining traction.
As our core Common Hymnal team searches out the spiritual underground, we are finding loads of talented creatives who are writing really good songs. On April 26th we start releasing songs that we recorded at a series of house shows just outside Nashville TN. We are thrilled with how this music is turning out.
However, we also filmed and recorded the after-parties, which were a little more rough and ready. We are releasing this material as a series on YouTube, titled: Unproduced. With all the talent we are finding, it is tempting to want to make more and more beautiful stuff. However, there is something really important about capturing the ‘real’.