Thursday, May 7, 2009

Conservative Churches More Marketing that Dogma?

How to Shrink a Church | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

The info is something that needs to be addressed.

It used to be conventional wisdom that conservative churches were growing because they demanded more from the members & the doctrine insisted on some personal piety. That has been the line of thought for as long as I can remember, even having classes on this subject at various times.

The idea sounds rational & since Kelly's Why Conservative Churches Are Growing, it has been the Gospel truth in church growth circles.

But a new book Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace, by Shayne Lee and Phillip Luke
Sinitiere, claims the conventional wisdom is just flat out wrong. Instead, the authors say the reason conservative churches are growing has more to do with being in tune with marketing than anything else.

The strict-church thesis needs revising. As the authors summarize: "We uncover little that is strict or demanding in our subjects' messages or ministries, and yet four of their churches are among the largest in the country." Instead, they argue that their success is due to effective marketing, meeting psychological needs, and appropriately addressing "the cultural tastes of potential clients."

The authors go on to argue, & rightly so, that the most strict religious groups tend to
not survive at all.

Should be an interesting read.

1 comment:

Georgia Mountain Man said...

How many churches do you see today with either neon signs or bank type message boards? They advertise in the paper, on billboards, tv and radio. They offer entertainment and an opportunity to see and be seen on Sunday and the rest of the week. The Pastor/CEO is rarely accessible to the flock. His assistants are charged with the dirty trench work. He doesn't stand at the door and shake hands at the end of the service. He gets into his BMW and heads to the mansion to change for an afternoon of golf at the club.