Aug 16, 2009

Have We Become McDonaldized?

John Drane is a brilliant writer who has written many books. Two of those books were around the concept of the church becoming McDonalized (see references below).George Ritzer wrote a book titled The McDonaldization of Society; it was from this work that Drane drew insights and penned his books. Basically McDonalds operates on a very clear and precise rational system. The systems have been put in place to produce the same product over and over again and the customer is happy. Every burger, every packet of fries and every drink are all produced and packaged in the same way world over. I have eaten McDonalds in many countries of the world and can testify that they all taste the same – I must say I do like that about Maccas!

The problem is that this rational thinking has permeated society and indeed the church according to Drane. His contention is that a theology that comes pre-packaged, and in which there are no lose ends, is not true of life nor can it adequately reflect the richness of the gospel.

Is our pre-packaged, predictable way of doing church effective for those in society that are not driven by the rationale alone but a rather looking for an experience? Does church need to change if we are to be effective in reaching a dying world for Christ? Has our modern way of doing church become outdated in reaching this post-modern generation and what changes need to take place for the church to continue to be effective?

What are your thoughts on such questions? Have you seen new ways of doing and being church that are being successful in making disciples?
Love to hear your thoughts.


John William Drane, The Mcdonaldization of the Church : Spirituality, Creativity, and the Future of the Church (London: Darton Longman & Todd, 2000).

John William Drane, After Mcdonaldization : Mission, Ministry, and Christian Discipleship in an Age of Uncertainty (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008).