transformation economy

for the past few days ive been listening to an economist by the name of jim gilmore over at the and even tho that sounds like one of the most dull and uninteresting ways to spend time its turned out to be insanely worth it.

gilmore is the author of a book titled the experience economy: work is theater & every business a stage and his basic premise is that the economics of the market are on a trajectory that began with commodities and moved via customization thru goods and services to experience . he uses starbucks as one of his prime examples showing the course of the coffee bean moving thru product on grocery shelves and a cup of joe at a restaraunt to starbucks which is a place solely dedicated to the experience of drinking coffee. he also shows how the price inflates dramatically along the way proving his theory that people are willing to pay more for an experience.

for the 3 of you still reading that means that the driving factor in how people spend their money is what kind of experience is gained. stop for a moment and think about how that relates to the church in our culture.


but it doesnt stop there. gilmores trajectory moves past experience to transformation and past transformation to perfection – which he rightly claims is not the province of the market. but back up a spot and what do we have? transformation. if you customize a service as starbucks did you end up with an experience and if you customize an experience gilmore claims you end up with a transformation.

this is not something way off in the future either. its already infiltrating the market in the realms of cosmetic surgery and body art. consider that theres more to a tattoo than simply having it. ask anyone whos been inkd and you will hear a story of where and when they got it and who did it and what it means to them. and part of what it means to them is they have transformed their body by branding it. they have forever changed their persona.

(if you dont know anyone with ink ask me about mine sometime)

so what does all this mean for the church?

and how does this all relate to the gospel and evangelism in our culture?

maybe it means evangelism in our culture is not nearly as difficult as we make it out to be. granted its more than asking your coworker or neighbor to church and then hoping the pastor evangelizes them for you – which all by itself prolly frightens almost half of christians from even bothering. but the means of evangelizing our culture isnt complicated.

its simple.

in the economy of transformation we find the world at our doorstep asking for bread. they may not actually come to our buildings to get it but if they realize that they are not what they want to be and are looking to be transformed then christ is the only way to bring them along the trajectory from experience thru transformation to perfection.

if i know anything about the gospel its that this is precisely what jesus is all about. having an experience with him leads to a transformation and ultimately to perfection. this is the story of anyone who is in christ. its the reason anyone can lead someone to him.

and its authentic.

its not an church-wide evangelism program or a dvd mailer or a tract stuck between wiper blades at the mall. its not even a bible left in a motel. its genuine people intentionally spending time with their neighbors and coworkers. its christ followers actively living out the incarnation by incarnating christ in the lives of those we come in contact with.

in 2 corinthians 5:17 paul said:

so if anyone is in christ he is a new creation. the old life is gone and a new one begins!

this is the gospel. the good news of transformation in christ. and we in the church can not continue to be so wrapped up in our own little worlds that we ignore the opportunity before us. its imperative that the transformation taking place in us be given all the room it needs to spill over into the lives of others.

so tonight on my knees before my king im asking for the boldness to offer people the transformation they are seeking by introducing them to christ in me. may i be an agent of change for the good of the kingdom in every possible way and may i always be ready to give a reason for the hope that i have.


~ by graceshaker on January 31, 2009.

7 Responses to “transformation economy”

  1. Good comments. Good prayer.

    I pray a similar prayer quite often.

    I pray that the Lord would send people into my path that don’t know Him, and that the Holy Spirit would fill my poor words with His power that this person may believe and become His own.


    – Steve martin San Clemente, CA

  2. If my first pastor heard it said that there was any thread of connection between the transformation of Saving Faith and a tattoo his head would blow up. I mean it Bang! Experience-transformation-perfection wow, that’ll preach. I wish I read this before I posted on the Image of God. Please carry this thought over to that post. It will fit right in.
    Most people I know well who have tats are ex-cons.
    that says nothing about tattoos, but speaks a lot to my ministry. I deal with body art pretty well but please, please tell me, you are not into gaugeing are you? Turning ear lobes into basketball hoops just can not be of God!!! [can it?]

  3. Tattooes.

    I don’t like ’em. But they are all the rage. Everybody just has to have one.

    Not for me. Nope. No way.

    I’ll stick with this large bone I have put through my nose to get people to acknowledge me!

    It works, too!

  4. i have 2 from quite a long time ago. it wasnt a popular thing for me bc no one i knew at the time had any. both of them are symbols of my spiritual journey. one on my left outside calf is an abstract of me bowing before almighty god. theres an incredibly long story behind that one. the other one is based on malachi 4:2 “but for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.”

    as an aside – both tats have been immeasurably useful in opening up conversations and allowing me to share the gospel.

    and no – im not a gauge kinda guy. i think the nosebone is a great idea tho! =D

  5. I see pretty girls with ear rings in their nostrils, yuch! One young beauty in my church eleventyseven ear piercings. I am so glad I got to be kind of old and can complain about young kids! They are all welcome in church, one kid told me as he held the bible, “Piercings saved my life, man.”

  6. Great stuff! Another great reference for you is Ephesians 4:22-32 talking about the transformation of the “old soul” into the “new soul” and a central focus of that transformation is the attitude of our minds. I talked to my students Wednesday about the attitude of our minds being what actually overflows into action in our lives. We want to live like the old soul with a whole lot of grace covering all that crap. While grace covers a multitude of sins; sometimes one has to sit back and take a look at their self and decide if they still have the old soul or have they been reborn in the new?

    p.s. I have a tattoo as well and it in no way has to do with me having to fit in with all the other tattooed folks…ha ha. I think it represents what God has shown me in a painful process brought on by his Bride. Thank God he is bigger than his wayward followers

  7. “Thank God he is bigger than his wayward followers.”

    Amen! He’d better be or I am in BIG TROUBLE!!

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