Apathy in the Pew

September 15, 2004 by

Doug Tappan doesn’t like church anymore, and said as much in his recent editorial:

“I’ve come to expect the church to forge my spiritual development. Instead of working on my own prayer and devotional life, I want the church to do it for me. …

“I’d like to blame all this on our American culture of selfishness. I’d like to say that I am this way because I’ve been socially conditioned by all the advertising and marketing that I’m encountered with day after day; advertising that says things like ‘Have it Your Way.’ Well, I do want it my way. Don’t we all? Isn’t it true that if we don’t like how things are done at one church we can just go across town (or across the street, for some of us) and find a church that suits our felt needs better? Is that what Jesus intended for His church? Did He want us to forsake our churches just to seek ‘greener pastures’ somewhere else? It’s true that the Church is flawed. No church is exempt from this. But instead of giving up (or becoming total cynics of every last detail) we should be working to change that which is wrong in our churches, but more than that—to change that which is wrong in ourselves.”

I think Doug nails it. Church marketing may suck, but sometimes the blame lies with the people in the pews. Not that blame is the important thing, but it brings us back to the constant refrain that we are a broken people. Recognizing that is important.

It’s also interesting to note that Doug points a finger at the self-centeredness of current marketing. Does church marketing fall in that boat as well?

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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One Response to “Apathy in the Pew”

  • orangejack
    September 15, 2004

    So if it’s the people in the pews that aren’t getting it, could we say it’s the church people that suck? LOL! J/K!
    Great site!

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