L.A. Times on Church Marketing

May 16, 2006 by

The L.A. Times covered church marketing and technology today in an article called “God’s Call Comes by Cellphone”. A few interesting quotes include:

“We dare not change the Gospel. But the method of delivery? We better change it for each new generation.” -Mark Beeson of Granger Community Church

“You can sit in an ivory tower and whine all you want about ‘This isn’t the way it was done in 1500.’ We’re here to help people. If there’s a tool out there that can help us reach them, why wouldn’t we use it?” -George Barna of The Barna Group

Of course not everyone is thrilled with churches blindly embracing technology. Andrew Careaga, a youth pastor, blogger and author of e-Ministry: Connecting with the Net Generation, worries about spirituality becoming just another item to check off the to-do list: “a five-second spiritual fix, you’ve seen the verse of the day and you’re done.”

“Technology always seems to be a Faustian bargain. It encroaches on our ability to unconnect with the world and connect with God.”

And that’s always the rub with technology. But others are more concerned about the danger of church marketing in general:

Theologian Philip Kenneson voices another concern: When churches measure success by how many times a sermon is downloaded, Christianity becomes just another consumer product.

“There’s a danger that it encourages people to see the church as a service agency, there to meet their particular needs” rather than to help them serve God, Kenneson said.

“It’s easy to reassure yourself that you are, in fact, a Christian because you’re … consuming Christian products,” he said. “Then I don’t have to love my neighbor or pray for my enemy or … take on any of the messy, difficult demands of the Gospel,” said Kenneson, an associate professor at Milligan College in Tennessee and co-author of Selling Out The Church: The Dangers of Church Marketing.

(link via Tony Morgan)

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.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

2 Responses to “L.A. Times on Church Marketing”

  • patrick
    May 16, 2006

    i’ve got no problem with the modern church embracing technology as much as possible. rather, i think this is crucial. but there’s a problem when technological advances replace the face-to-face interaction that is necessary in the christian’s spiritual well being.

     | Permalink
  • kevin
    May 16, 2006

    One of the interesting parts of the article for me was that only 17% of adults view the local church as essential for developing faith. I think the number came from Barna, but I haven’t seen anything from them on it. I’d love to hear more context on that number.

     | Permalink