8 thoughts on “Church-Business Separation

  1. The only vision statements I was ever inspired by were those of Martin Luther King (I have a dream!), Jesus (the kingdom of God is near!) and the apostles (he is risen!). That is enough.

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  2. Christians tend trust each other more than we trust those outside the church. Christian in business sometimes take advantage of this.
    In the world, companies spend bucketloads on advertising. Advertising is not just to get necessary information out there, but these days ads are carefully crafted to works on our feelings and make us buy stuff, and ads saturate every medium that will allow them. And Christian businesses are doing likewise, following the way of the world in that.

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  3. Hey, I’d just be impressed if churches quite operating like they were businesses. On that level, I can really appreciate fernando’s comment about vision statements.
    In some (certainly not all) it really does seem like the gospel message has just become another thing to sell and advertise. (And like most infomercials, their salese pitches don’t really strike me as offering anything of substance.)
    I’m constantly reminded of the year my parents’ church actually canceled their Easter pageant. Most years, they do this very complicated and showy (in my opinion at least) pageant. And while I have no problem with a church putting much effort into creating the best pageant ever, I had started to get the impression that it was more about the presentation than the message at my parents’ church a couple years prior.
    So then came the year that they canceled the pageant about a month before Easter. There was a lot left undone and those in charge determined that in order to complete everything to pull of this incredible pageant successfully, they would need someone working on it full time (40+ hour a week). They had no one who was able and willing to dedicate that amount of time, so they canceled the pageant.
    To my mind, if the message was what was important, it would’ve made more sense for them to re-evaluate the workforce and man-hours they had available, and put on a less impressive pageant that still sincerely and movingly told the story. But for whatever reason, those in charge decided that not being able to stick with this awesome presentation meant the message would not be told at all this year.
    Of course, they did have a service of some sort, so I suppose the message was still given. But all the same, that whole all-or-nothing approach to producing a pageant didn’t sit right with me, personally.

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  4. I am of two minds some days. Market research has prompted many churches to ditch their nerdier forms of communication, which can only be a good thing IMO. But as as you say, it has also helped fosted a gospel-as-product attitude amongst some that is equally cringe worthy. This is where I think its important to have a strong understanding of evangelism as a practice. The ultimate test of a practice is not its popularity but its integrity. Is God glorified irrespective of who accepts the message? Is God’s love communicated irrespective of how flashy (or not) the medium is? That’s the more important question.

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  5. David Bosch wrote in Transforming Mission that it was the Catholics that turned the Church into an organisation…, and it was the evangelicals that turned it into a business. Some comments cover this in the Why is the missional church NOT producing much literature for new Christians? thread in the Popular Posts section. David Augsburger mantions that people with a bipolar spirituality would usually be prone to sell their ideas on Christianity (paraphrase). I grew up in Zimababwe and attending the open minded Dutch Reformed (of all denominations) English service, I can remember the selling the Gospel tpic popping up and they warned us against selling Jesus. Nowadays, I am more interested in Anabaptism, the Emerging Church and any other new kind of community that uses their creativity to be a blessing.

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