Thesis #1: The world economy creates some barriers to gospel expansion.
I am not saying that it doesn’t create some opportunities as well, but in this post I want to suggest some of the barriers.
In a macro-economy like we have today, all relationships that we have with non-family members are in some sense, unnatural, not normal and therefore unnecessary. The typical urban, suburban and even rural dweller, because of travel and refrigeration can buy all that they need for living without anymore than superficial contact with other human beings.
By contrast, in a micro-economy, without refrigeration and travel options that take one far from home, almost all relationships are almost familial. They are normal; they are natural; and they are necessary for common life. In a micro economy, like the ancient world, going to the market or finding food was a daily and often times, communal undertaking. In such a system, when “Jacob” or “Mary” became a follower of Jesus and their lives begin to be transformed from darkness to light, everyone knows, everyone sees and the effects and opportunity for gospel propagation are multiplied.
But in our modern macro-economies, most of these opportunities are muted.
Thesis #2: Overcoming these barriers is going to be a key ingredient to life and ministry in post-modern and post Christian America.
Our churches, both “organic” house churches and “brick” churches on street corners, need to do a better job of training their people to be “gospelers” in their neighborhood. Training men and women to be intensely local is the challenge for 21st century leaders of Christ’s Bride, the Church. The church needs to wake up and help its people develop natural, normal and necessary relationships with their neighbors so that the light of Christ shines to a new generation.
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