A thought provoking article in today's New York Times
explores the unintended causes and consequences of a world where we outsource almost everything to professional. The newest professional resource for us is a "wantologist." This speciality helps us explore what we really want or don't want. They help us examine if we are "floating" to what we want or "navigating." While the first response can be a laugh or a sneer, think about how many experts we regularly revert to for help: therapists, trainers, after school tutors, executive coaches (I use one), nannies, etc. We find nothing wrong in paying a professional to help us complete a task or process.
Where the article gets intriguing is in looking at why? Why do we have so many professionals helping us navigate life? Because we've lost community. We don't have the multigenerational, multi-skilled community of family and friends to speak wisdom into our lives. Instead we shop, pay and walk away.
Does outsourcing go as far as the church? Absolutely. With web access, we can find the speakers and topics we want and stream them live into our lives anytime anywhere. I think that one of the causes of the decreased response to church membership and joining is an outsourced spiritual life. I can listen to Francis Chan while walking alone on the beach. That's the up-side and
the down-side (I'm alone). Community is messy. Community does not meet my schedules and goes places I'm not interested in. Community makes demands and teaches me to listen to others. Community is not about me, but outsourcing is.