Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cranking Out Church Services

*Great commentary in this article!

Don’t let consumer demand determine church message
By Doug Johnson , The Register-Mail

According to a recent article in Christianity Today, Americans consume somewhere between 250 and 5,000 advertisements DAILY! So it makes sense that Christians would be tempted to market the Christian faith in the same way corporations market their products.

This is old news for anyone paying attention to the Evangelical tradition. With the rise of the “seeker-sensitive” church movement, Evangelicals have been trying to market the Christian faith to “seekers” since the late 1970s.

A Galesburg Register-Mail article from Jan. 30, “Church seeks to be more relevant,” raises once again the wisdom of this approach to church planting. The “seeker-sensitive” approach to church-planting works like this: Just as advertisers promise that their product can make you sexy, hip and desirable, churches tell us they can provide you with “authentic relationships” and “powerful prayer experiences.” The message is simple and appealing: Christianity is good for you! It will make your marriage happier, your teeth whiter, your children more obedient and your personal life more fulfilling. Christianity becomes a way of reaching the great American ideal of “happiness” with heaven thrown in as a bonus!

So churches promise to be more relevant, more contemporary, and more authentic — and to offer you a great cup of coffee in the bargain. One church-marketing website puts it this way: “Marketing is the study and practice of better, faster, friendlier and cheaper.” In other words, come to our church because we can give you a better, faster, friendlier and cheaper (less costly to you) Jesus!

The problem is that Jesus Christ is not a “product” and the church is not a grocery store for religious consumers seeking the latest spiritual comfort food.

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