Steve Cutts, an edgy UK video artist poignantly captures today’s gadget-mesmerized culture in his animated film “Are You Lost in the World Like Me?”
Cutts depicts Zombie-like crowds, entranced by gadgets, oblivious to the loneliness, the needs and the pain around them – and inside each of them.
Aldous Huxley, in “Brave New World foresaw the same thing – people rendered vapid by their addiction to mass production entertainment, leisure and laughter. Cutts’ theme is a blatant warning: “These systems are failing!”.
Christianity faces a similar threat. The traditional systems we use in making disciples in modernity are far afield from Christ’s method, and the system is failing.
Social media consumes your individuality, shrinking “you” to likes, comments and follows. At its core it trades individual interaction in the lived world for mass-gatherings of tribal interests. Our call as disciples? To be fully individual, to be fully serving with our unique talents in the real world, moving between tribes, not dwelling within one. Disciples are individuals, teamed alongside one another, encountering the rest of the world with the certainty of Christ.
Just as mass-produced entertainment drives weariness, discipleship produced solely through programs, large gatherings and mere academics – becomes more like cloning than relationships, producing a fragile and brittle caricature of what disciples are intended to be in Christ.
Yes, we must gather and serve Christ in worship and missions and ministries. But these are not the fountainheads of discipling. They are the results.
To discard that model Christ gave us means these modern Christian techniques will collapse, and discipleship will be the casualty. These disciples will wonder “Are you lost in the world like me?”.
We owe disciples the better way.