If you’ve been alive for the last 40 years you’ve been approached by someone who considers themselves a “network” marketer. To be honest we used to call them “Multi-level Marketers” or MLM for short but that became a negative bombshell so now we call them
Every decade seems to populated with new and innovative product to pour into this marketing funnel whether it is cleaning products, dietary supplements, weight loss substances, workout strategies, insurance or even personal beauty products.
Why do some succeed and most fail? Certainly there are numerous causal issues but I’d like to focus on just one. Those who succeed have cracked the code of consumerism. They don’t just create customers,who consume their products, they create fellow marketers who become another point of sale.
Instead of delivering their products to friends once a month, they have taught their friends like them to sell the “opportunity to sell” the products. Imagine if McDonalds sold you the ability to sell Big Macs rather than just selling you a Big Mac. Those signs that read “???Billions served” would have teach us what comes after a billion.
Successful network marketers have cracked the code of dependency that plagues consumerism. Consumers just want more. They are passive, need to be led, taught, fed, etc. Producers on the other hand feed themselves and teach others to do the same. Instead of creating dependency on some central place or person, they distribute the power thru training, encouragement and coaching.
What modern Christianity doesn’t understand is that our movement started as a network. Jesus distributed the power to 12 doubters and worshipers when he commissioned ordinary people to change the world. It was light, nimble and quick.
What has ensued is a hierarchical, lethargic, consumeristic, dependency building, organization that bears little or no resemblance to the network that Jesus started. It is heavy, awkward and slow. Watch this is you need some numerical reinforcement.
Let’s quit pretending that we are followers of Jesus. [Tweet “Our methodology is shaped more by colonial American history than Biblical first century narrative.”] Neither Jesus nor the Apostles would recognize the traditions of buildings, ordination, discipleship, conferencing, or knowledge driven expressions of a first century faith.
Unless we listen to the voices in the wilderness this generation will leave a legacy-more people hellhound than any generation in history–further from fulfilling the Great Commission than the mission of Jesus has ever been.
What must YOU do?
Re-read the Gospels with eyes that demand you see them not thru your lenses and your personal history but with ears of the Apostles. What did they hear?
- The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and Causes that Hinder It, Roland Allen
- Coming to terms: Two Church Planting Paradigms, Ted Esler
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