market-driven church, market-driven election

lots of pundits and people have noticed and griped about the ugly campaign tactics, and what politicians and pastors are both among the most pragmatic, and will basically do whatever works.

For the politicians, they’ll use the tactic and deliver the message that works, what gets the people to vote for them. If people would respond to carefully reasoned explanation of domestic policy, that would have been tactic; people apparently responded the best to tactics that appealed to primal fear as related to “moral values” or “social issues”, and that’s what the candidates used.

For the pastors, they’ll use the methods that grow the attendance at a church. If people respond to a carefully explained Bible teaching, that would be more common for more churches; people apparently respond the most to programming that’s practical, production-level entertaining ‘worship’ music, and motivational sermons.

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  1. The market-driven church
    DJ Chuang on the market-driven church: For the pastors, they’ll use the methods that grow the attendance at a church. If people respond to a carefully explained Bible teaching, that would be more common for more churches; people apparently respond…

  2. natala says:

    I am wondering how as the ‘congregants’ can we encourage pastors to not use the marketing…
    And how as citizens we can encourage politicians to not use negativity to win. I think partly it’s our responsibility as citizens and congregants, the longer we accept it, the more they (pastors and politicians) will continue to use the same tactics.

  3. Chris Elrod says:

    Natala:

    Not only do congregations accept it, they PROMOTE it! As a former Associate Pastor of a large church in Lakeland, Florida, there was the constant pressure from the deacons, leaders and congregation to “perform” – or illicit “results” if you will. Unfortunately church members and leaders (as do many pastors) based success on the same thing as the world – growth and numbers. Unfortunately, we live in a world where a pastor’s normal life-span in a church is two years. If the pastor hasn’t created numeric growth in that time, in most established “old school” churches – they are sent packing. Therefore, “marketing” for results is largely to be blamed on the congregation itself. That’s not to say that a pastor’s ego doesn’t drive it also! 🙂

  4. rick says:

    I just posted tis on another blog:

    Hmmm. How about, “You are invited to Die?” as a headline. I said that to a group the other day. We are invited to die to ourselves and everything that gets in the way of the reign of God. If I really want to live, I must first die. That sucks. I much like motivational sermons and life in the suburbs. Too bad that is not the message that Jesus proclaimed by his life. That is why I say, I don’t have the guts to follow Jesus, so I settle for being a Christian.

    Peace. Great post!
    Rick

  5. Steve says:

    It’s tragic that churches – who have been given the ultimate counter-cultural message – end up buying the entire cultural package.

    Now I’m not saying that marketing your product is wrong – I’ve seen lots of churches use multi-media, the web, direct mail, etc., to get their message across. But when the message is shaped by the market, that’s why the three words often used to describe Christianity are “boring, irrelevant, and untrue.”