Monday, October 8, 2007

Excellent Article

This piece has been linked elsewhere, but if you missed it, or didn't read it then, here's your chance.

An excerpt:

Almost no one in America could fail to recognize that marketing—both its language and culture—has become an epidemic. And that, more unfortunately, it has become a significant means of "promoting" the church and the gospel in American Christianity, with billboards, soundbites, slogans, and come-ons. The language and practice of marketing so saturates the Christian world, it is difficult to remember a time when it was not so fashionable....

The perception is that as the church markets itself, more benefits will accrue to the church—more people, more programs, more money, more buildings, more success. When a neighborhood thinks of the church as little more than an ever-expanding spiritual business, it is naturally resentful when this business disrupts the life of the community with parking, traffic, and late-night meetings.

Should it surprise us that in this church-marketing era, members demand more and more from their churches, and if churches don't deliver, they take their spiritual business elsewhere? Have we ever seen an age in which church transience was such an epidemic?

Should it surprise us that in this era, pastors increasingly think of themselves as "managers," "leaders," and "CEOs" of "dynamic and growing congregations," rather than as shepherds, teachers, and servants of people who need to know God? And that preaching has become less an exposition of the gospel of Jesus' death and resurrection and more often practical lessons that offer a lot of "take-away value," presented in an efficient, friendly manner, as if we were selling cheeseburgers, fries, and a shake?...

Be sure to read the rest.

2 comments :

  1. Rev. Eric J Brown said...

    The thing that people forget is that if your concern is making people like you - which is what all forms of marketing are - you are fundamentally being false and acting out of greed - acting out of desire to build up your own self instead of loving the neighbor.

  2. MM said...

    Sometimes a Shepherd's job is telling us what we do not want to hear. I'm thankful that you do just that. And church-hopping is never a good idea.... we'd never settle anywhere if that was our philosophy.

    Here for the long haul...