BusinessWeek Goes to Church

May 14, 2005 by

BusinessWeek: Evangelical AmericaEvangelicals landed on the cover of BusinessWeek as they explore the booming business of church. But before you get too excited it’s more an overview of megachurches and Christianity in pop culture, with hardly anything new to report. They cover the usual suspects, including Bill Hybels, Rick Warren and Joel Osteen.

The piece had a few interesting details, including the fact that Willow Creek supposedly ranks in the top 5% of 250 major brands, sharing space with companies like Nike and John Deere. Also the Willow Creek Association, the consulting arm that hopes to spread the Willow Creek charm, raked in $17 million last year from its 10,500 member churches and the 110,000 leaders who attended their conferences.

Aside from that it’s your typical megachurch philosophy: no pews, no crosses, positive preaching and in the case of Osteen and Creflo A. Dollar, the prosperity gospel.

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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7 Responses to “BusinessWeek Goes to Church”

  • Stevan
    May 16, 2005

    Great article – thanks for the resource!
    Willow ranking in the top 5% with the likes of Nike and John Deere was a bit hard to believe until thoroughly reading and re-reading the article!

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  • Church Marketing

    Detractors, say what you will about megachurches, but they are reaching people. They are doing a great job of “being in the…

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  • ksc
    May 18, 2005

    i knew about creflo dollar and t.d. jakes being about prosperity gospel, but is joel osteen? i used to think that everyone on TBN was, but i don’t think that’s necessarily the case. anyone have any details on that?

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  • Todd
    May 20, 2005

    I think it’s sad that mega-churches are neglecting the core symbols of our faith. What’s next, no mention of God because that makes people uncomfortable? I can appreciate the seeker-centered mindset, because that’s the same mindset Jesus had. However, he didn’t water down his message or avoid making people uncomfortable when He was spitting (in a good way) out some truth.
    Great site. I’ll be checking back often.

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  • Frank
    May 22, 2005

    What started in Jerusalem as a move of God, became a philosphy in Greece, an institution in Rome, a tradition in Europe and big business in America. The institutionalized church (all denominations and sizes, both Catholic and Protestant, Evangelical and Liberal) is dying in America. What the article won’t tell you in Business Week that despite the growth of these megachurches, deeply committed Christians are leaving the institutionalized church in droves. God is currently cultivating an underground church in America (like the one in China) that is neither institutionalized or divided by denominations. They have no budget, no marketing plan, no organizational structure that we’ve known before. They are organically and humanly following Jesus into the unknown.

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  • Fernando's Desk
    May 24, 2005

    The Business of Church

    The wonderfully named Church Marketing Sucks weblog has brought to our attention a very telling article on the business of church. To put it another way, this is the big business of church, where Willow Creek ranks in the top 5% of business brands (an…

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  • Paul Braoudakis
    June 8, 2005

    Just a clarification to a previous post as well as the BusinessWeek article. The Willow Creek Association is NOT the consulting arm of Willow Creek Community Church. It is a completely separate organization that exists to train, resource, and envision churches all over the world. As far as “raking in $17 million,” the WCA is a not-for-profit organization, so all resources coming into the organization are put right back into circulation for ministry purposes.

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