The purpose of gathering as a community is to create a way in the wilderness that is not dependent on the scarcity and competition of Pharaoh and empire.
To grasp the full effects of a consumer society, it is useful to understand two of its core elements: (1) the systems and management that have developed to provide the scale necessary for consumerism, and (2) the professional industries that have been constructed to service it. By seeing the consumer ecology for what it is, we can become citizens again. We can shift our thinking and re-decide who we take ourselves to be: producers of our own future or purchasers of what others have in mind for us.
In adopting system life, people choose to yield sovereignty in exchange for the promise of predictability. Even families and communities turn over their sovereignty for the promise of a safe and predictable future.
Predictability can get in the way of imagination and personal and corporate agency. How do you and your family adjust to change? Are you able to rely on one another as much as seeking an institution to fix and support you? How does a consumer ecology benefit your business, your food sources, your education? What sort of influence or responsibility does this take away from you and your family or business or community of faith?
What is one thing you can repair rather than throw away and purchase yet again? Is there one decision that you can do for your own family (a game night, a walk, preparing a meal together) that reminds you of what you can make together? Is there one decision you could make with someone else (with a neighbor or co-worker) that can communicate with neighbors and coworkers what you make rather than simply what you consume?
McKnight, John. The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods (p. 26). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.