Here's a great column by George Will noting the economic malaise in certain industries known as "Baumol's Disease." More or less, it's where certain professions--teaching, medicine, performing arts--do not get more productive due to improved technologies. We might add "preaching" and "church work" to that as well--not too many pastors, after all, have audiences that exceed Jesus teaching the 4000 and the 5000, or even Peter's sermon to the infant church in Acts 2. Amplification, radio, the printing press, and even the Internet haven't really changed the dynamics that a man can really only serve so many people.
And perhaps--fundagelical churches having tried to adopt many factory techniques over the past century, often with dismal results (rear ends in pews, but the vast majority as spectators, not players)--it's time to stop striving against "Baumol's Disease", but rather to embrace it. Don't waste time and effort trying to overcome the limitations of the profession, but rather spend that same time and effort doing it the way Peter and our Lord did.
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