Friday, June 13, 2008

"What's Wrong with Being a Consumer"

McDsDrive-Jesus.jpg@ has had a series on Marketing the Church (Part One, Part Two, Part Two b, Part Three, Part Four & Part Fin).

See responses from Ed Stetzer Questions for McChurch and Questions for Questions for McChurch.
KingdomGrace's Post-Critical? is another important read She comments on the new Bill Hybels Reveal Justification clip where she says, I have a great deal of respect for Bill, but I had trouble sifting through the business and attractional language in this clip - strategic, models, relevant, initiatives, spiritually catalytic, effectiveness, weekend event, service, adjustments, more effective, more information, lead better, seeker ministry, risk profile - yada, yada, yada. “You have to thrill believers in order to move them to a place where they see people far from God the way Jesus sees them.” [Hybels quote from video.]
I am trying to put a positive spin on what he meant by thrilling believers. Better worship songs? video clips of Bono? better coffee and donuts? What kind of thrilling might be happening in the multi-million dollar building at the well-produced service of the weekend event? Maybe there could be a power point of what’s happening outside the walls in order to “thrill the believers” into seeing others the way Jesus sees them.

The Church is Not a Business makes some very good points.

In the pages of Scripture, we get a very different model for how the church is to operate. Success there does not depend on a person’s brilliance, their adherence to the latest best practices, or their ability to master ingenious strategies. It depends on God; on being “empowered” by the Holy Spirit. We don’t “market” Jesus or what the church has to offer; we become what God is calling us to be and let that speak for itself. We don’t “sell” the Gospel or manage customers, commodifying both the teachings of Jesus and the people we are called to serve. And language really does matter in how we think about these things.

And perhaps most counter cultural of all, we don’t necessarily pursue success; we pursue faithfulness. The people we meet in Scripture are so often are failures. Many appear to be inconsequential and insignificant. The secret of their “success” is their radical reliance on God, and their faithfulness in following His lead.

@ notes: "The bottom line for me in responding to "What's Wrong with Being a Consumer" is that the church isn't about consumption - it's about the production of new life at the personal, corporate, neighborhood and global levels. The creator who chooses to indwell us motivates us to creation rather than consumption.

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