Thursday, November 03, 2005
Pay Attention To The Data
I am frankly weary of all the self-styled experts who are telling pastors and church leaders today that unless they get with the times, tone down their message, adapt their methods to meet the worldly preferences of the current generation, accommodate their message to the postmodern dialectic, bone up on this or that academic fad, or otherwise adopt some fleshly strategy, the church will die or lose the battle for the souls of the next generation.There's a dirty little secret -- those techniques are working for megachurches, but they are a poor fit when other try to put them on -- thus we are still losing ground. Phil finishes up with this
We've tried all those strategies for at least three or four generations now, and we're still losing ground. In our mad pursuit of "relevance," has anyone noticed that the church is becoming more and more irrelevant? All this accommodation to the culture is the very thing that makes the church culturally irrelevant.
I'm not saying we should give up on reaching the world or be passive and silent. On the contrary, I think we should turn up the volume. But I'm also saying this: Don't distrust the weapons Christ has entrusted to His church. Don't underestimate the power of the plain word of God or the influence of clear and dynamic preaching. Don't set aside the weapons God has chosen and trade them for Saul's armor.In business terms we would call this "capitalizing on your core competencies." Let the megachurches be megachurches, I for one will never go. I went once, figured I could stay at home and watch TV and get the same affect.
Wal-Mart has reduced boutique marketing, but it hasn't killed it. Those that are still in it, do very, very well, so long as they don't want to match Wal-Mart's gross sales figures. Besides, isn't church a quality buiness anyway.
And while we are talking about megachurches, the Constructuve Curmudgeon links to a rather good critique thereof.