Monday, May 16, 2011
One "Hell" Of A Question
Steven Furtick has a great piece today at his blog about who your REAL competition is.And yet, that is the way so many churches operate today - it's based on a marketing model. The presumption is that a given marketplace is saturated, so how do you grow? You grow by getting more and more and more from your existing market.
Is it the church down the street?
Is it the megachurch across town?
Is it the online church that the couple that just left your church say they are attending?
Pastor Steven says "One of the biggest dangers that any church faces when trying to reach people who are far from God is comparing itself to other churches...It’s dangerous because if you want to reach other people for Christ, your competition isn’t other churches. It isn’t a matter of if you have better music than other churches. Better videos than other churches. Even better community than other churches. That’s not your standard of comparison.
This works famously in media where everyone watches television - EVERYONE. Therefore the question really is how do you grow and hold audience - well the answer is web site, merchandising, other outlets - you reach into your core audience pockets over and over again.
Now here's the problem. Not everyone goes to church - in fact FAR from everyone goes to church. However, this marketing strategy, as adopted by the church relies on two presumptions. The first is that everybody that will go to church is going and that secondly, you cannot rely on the people you have to, via word of mouth and more, seek to expand your market. Those presumptions are huge problems.
The first presumption says that God just is not attractive enough and the second that the church is so uninspiring that no one wants to share. And yet, this strategy seems to work for churches, meaning the presumptions seem to be operative.
I respond my saying what I have said for a whole now - the church needs to work on itself in a serious way. It's time to stop seeking growth for growth's sake and start to seek the face of God. I cannot help but think that if we adequately reflect God's glory, growth will result, but not becasue we are focused on growth - BECAUSE WE ARE FOCUSED ON GOD.
Can I get an "Amen?"