This evening I headed off to church, knowing that it was going to be the start of a new DVD based series. Kinda went in with almost no pre-conceptions, which was good. And it was the start of something pretty cool I reckon – the content was good, but I’ll get to that in a second. James used it as a chance to remark that sometimes church is just a consumer product – we sit there and listen, and don’t have much involvement usually. So this week was a chance to change that, and for us to watch some DVD clips, chat with the people we were sitting with, and then share some ideas with everyone.

And in a few weeks, a vision of mine will hopefully see reality, where we have “church” by still spending some time singing and stuff, but then sitting round some tables and listening to a talk of some description (if it’s going to be happening in a few weeks, it’ll presumably be DVD clips), and then spending time chatting – perhaps about the “sermon”, perhaps about your week, perhaps about other stuff that revolves around God, perhaps not. The whole idea was to have that post-church chatting time as a sort-of part of the service, to encourage that fellowship. The idea gained life in a kind of selfish way: I learn best by talking with others, and often really struggle to take away something from listening to a sermon for 30-40 minutes. But I would hope that others would be able to gain something from it too. And it will be very exciting to see a vision come to life.

As for this week and the content, it was all based around consumerism. It was a DVD series called The Trouble With Paris (and it has a website here). Excitedly, it was an Australian made and produced series! This first episode got us thinking about hyper-reality, and how we live in this false sense of reality. It also talked briefly about the emotion behind our purchase of products, and a bold statement that advertising has almost become an unspoken religion. Very true though.

There was absolutely nothing to bring it all back to God in this week’s series. A little annoying, I thought. But I am very keen to see this series through and be a part of it right through the 4 weeks.

I’m very aware of my consumerism. In reality, I have a lot of money, and I really like spending it. I know that I really have to keep myself in check about the reasons of why I buy things – the emotion behind it, or the appearance. And the reason I want to keep myself in check is that I have made the decision to make God #1 in my life, and I don’t want to let my consumerism take over – I don’t want to live my life for the things I buy, or the car I drive, or the house I own (no matter how awesome my house and street are!).

So I’m very much looking forward to being further challenged about my consumer life and living it as a follower of Jesus.

  1. Tamara’s avatar

    I liked it also!! It’s disturbing how thoroughly we are affected by it all. Although, I would disagree with you that they didn’t bring it back to God. I would say they did. Not in a how do we fix it yet way I assume that will come later but even in just getting us to think about how this is affecting church and our Christian lives and the reasons as to why we want to change brings it back, for me at least. I am really looking forward to the next few weeks.

  2. Howie’s avatar

    I have that DVD, it drove me crazy with all it’s graphics and effects.

  3. The Dragon’s avatar

    Does James S. read your blog so he knows your thoughts too? even this oldie thought it was pretty good – probably because we had a great person to chat to about it all.
    I thought the graphics and flicking in the DVD must be how the younger gen. like it – certainly drives me a little crazy – but I wouldn’t want to agree with Howie!!!

  4. Howie’s avatar

    The graphics and flickering arnt really what the young one like, well maybe to a degree but not to the extreme that this video has.
    The company that made it does this with all their videos.

    and unfortunately they made a TEAR video recently.

    if any of you want to borrow the DVD from me you can, the paris one that is.

  5. James’s avatar

    Yes, the DVD graphics were a bit intense. Wondering how much that will annoy me by the end of the series.

    And yeah T, I guess I can see what you’re saying. I guess what I didn’t like was just that it wasn’t biblically based yet. And that it’s kind of implied that you have to be there for all the weeks to see the biblical interpretation of consumerism.

    I dunno. It’s petty I guess. Cos I’d hope most of us would already know how we should be responding to our “consumeristic” lifestyle as Christians. But I just would wonder about people who were there on Sunday who were either very new Christians, or who didn’t know God yet – would the choices of a follower of God be as clear to them?

    I think that’s all I was worried about.

    Seeing that first DVD has already got me thinking about what/why/how I buy things as a Christian, and also just as a consumer in general. I guess that’s its aim.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>