The Quick-Fix Mentality and the Breakdown of Disciplines and Practices

By Steve Manskar

wesleyan-leadership-quick-fix"Our society's device paradigm trains us in the habits of seeking quick-fix solutions to our problems. When this pattern invades churches, two especially negative effects ensue. First, churches begin to address such problems as declining numbers by seeking short-term remedies, such as making worship more entertaining and less formative of the actual habit of worship, that in the long run actually lead away from our focal concerns. In the process, our commitment to loving God becomes tainted with self-concern.

"Second, both the love of God and the love of the neighbor are reduced by the breakdown of Christian disciplines and practices. The arduous engagements of Bible study, prayer, meditation, worship, Sabbath keeping, generosity, service, home devotions, and the raising of children in faith are supplanted by efforts to manipulate instant gratification. Without sustained involvement in habits of faith, Christians not only do not learn the value of time investments with delayed results, but they also do not develop the kind of long-term enduring emotions and deep-seated affections that would enable them to find Joy* in extended services for the causes of justice and peace as concrete manifestations of love for global neighbors."

-- Marva Dawn in Unfettered Hope: A Call to Faithful Living in an Affluent Society, page 85

* "[Dawn purposefully capitalizes the word Joy because she does not mean a simple exuberance, happiness, or excitement caused by circumstances. She uses the word to signify that deep abiding confidence, gratitude, and trust that are ours when our lives are transformed by the truths of our meta-narrative, especially the Resurrection."