Perhaps it was Max Weber who first made the connection between the development of capitalism and the puritan work ethic in his 1905 classic text. The links he draws feel obvious to me and I believe that today, the reverse influence of capitalist culture back upon the church is also true. The more we "run" churches like businesses, the more cues we begin to take (unchecked) from the corporate world. How should we organize without rigidity? How do we program without using eachother? How do we strategize without loosing sight of faces? How do we hire, fire, promote and demote within a worshiping community, called beloved by God? How do we encourage eachother to live into our spiritual gifitings without defining people by their utility? Are we more than simply cogs in the Kingdom of God? These are some thoughts on my mind these days that connected with these words by Moltmann in which I experience comfort and rest.
“When a man sees the meaning of life only in being useful and used, he necessarily gets caught in the crisis of living, when illness or sorrow makes everything including himself seem useless… Whoever lays hold of the joy which embraces the creator and his own existence also gets rid of the dreadful question of existence: For what? …We are evidently supposed to be busy with something, as if our existence were justified or rendered beautiful by this. The opposite is true: Our existence is justified and made beautiful before we are able to do or fail to do anything." - Moltmann (Theology of Play, 1972)