Thursday, August 19, 2010

The "Unpopular" Church Strategy...

Some thoughts based on an article highlighted at Prydain blog...

I think that the current trend in much of the evangelical church of using marketing strategies to grow numbers is misguided and pathetic on so many levels. One such level is that "marketing approaches” don't take the believer or unbeliever seriously. It treats them as consumers rather than people who are made in the image of their Creator and yet fallen. This marketing approach hinges success upon “checking off” any number of boxes such as an entertaining worship service, helpful advice for living (family, finances, virtues-coaching) via sermons or small groups, and often a one-stop shop for a person’s social life (some churches are actually like all-purpose college campuses).
Forgotten or marginalized is the harsh reality that, apart from the saving knowledge of Christ, people are burdened by the unbearable weight and destructiveness of their own sin (though often in denial), suffer alienation from God and their fellow man, and ultimately face a day of reckoning on That Day. And it is the very message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, communicated regularly through the rather "unflashy" ministering of the Word and Sacrament, which equips the Church to uniquely address this condition in man.  Too many have lost sight of the fact that the church was not instituted by our Lord to be about growing numbers but rather finding, gathering, and nuturing those who are marked off for salvation. It's certainly not a popular diagnosis of and prescription for "consumers" in today’s modern media-driven, numbers oriented church. And yet, though out of fashion and unpopular, it has one thing really going for it. It is true and rings true in those called of God.


  1. Hi, I didn't know that you had a blog....Good stuff here.

    I am very excited about your blog, parents flying blind. I hope that you get it going. This title is exactly how I feel, most of the time. Thank God for his rich mercy and grace, and this is the only way we are able to parent.

    I hope it is coming sooner rather than later....

    Thank you, and I often pray for your and Barbara to carry you through your losses as well. It is long road, however I have experiences that God is faithful, gentle and comforting, and that his grace "is" sufficient, just as he also promises. It is that peace that passes understanding and it is a mysterious wonder.

  2. Jack,

    Good thoughts here. After reading what you wrote, I do wonder: can people who basically approach religion as "consumers" really acknowledge they are "sinners"? I guess the role of the Holy Spirit in opening our eyes to the truth is as crucial here as in all other areas.

  3. Will, you wrote:
    can people who basically approach religion as "consumers" really acknowledge they are "sinners"? I guess the role of the Holy Spirit in opening our eyes to the truth

    Amen Will. By nature we are all consumers. And the purpose and place of the right preaching of the Word, the Gospel... is to open eyes and hearts to the truth, changing us from consumer-centered people to obedient children, through Christ Jesus, of our Father in heaven.

    blessings bro...