The truth hurts: or why we shouldn't start Drive-in theaters

I have been enjoying reading Seth Godin lately. The Purple Cow, Red Fez, Meatball Sundae-making marketing guru and author is frequently profound. In a recent lengthy article he wrote about the death of the "music business."

If you are part of a denominational leadership, or church planting movement, there is something profound lurking in the Godin observations about the music business. He makes ten big points that are clearly applicable to any sort of "business."

Here is the basic premise I have extrapolated: It is quite possible that in a digital age, the way we have done church (even in the "contemporary" expression) is "over." If this is true then we can expect more of the same of what we have seen over the last twenty years, declining participation, declining attendance, declining contributions (per capita), and declining involvement of younger people. If you see the common thread, it is the word "declining."

Nobody is giving seminars on "How to open a Drive-in Theater." Seminars on "How to start a Church," should take into consideration that there may not be a need for another "contemporary" church service for ‘authentic, real people’ to come and get free coffee and donuts, free wireless, listen and maybe sing along with some "contemporary" praise and worship songs, fill out a connect card and listen to a fill-in the blank topical sermon. If this is true, then what is the new thing look like?

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2 comments on “The truth hurts: or why we shouldn't start Drive-in theaters

  1. Family. Community. Being more than a building and a meeting… granted we need somewhere to meet… but for the first time in my life I’ve had my pastor at my house, had those around me fellowshipping in my home, been to their homes more then just to drop off something and been a part of their lives and dreams.

    THAT is what it looks like. I left a contemporary, wifi, free coffee and donuts, program driven, watch the show and able to come and go without being noticed church. I watched so many people come… try to connect and leave.

    Go ahead and try that here… before you leave at least 10 people will have introduced themselves to you and you WILL meet the pastor and they will follow up with you (but not be pushy).

    After a few months here, my pastor is the dude that I know if I went into hiding now for some reason, he’d show up at my door wondering what is wrong. Seriously. He let me into his life and got interested in mine, and I think I have a better relationship with this dude than some that I walked with for years in the prior.

    We keep forgetting that the church is about family and connection… and I’m sorry but no matter how good you are at managing small groups…etc… that is hard to keep going in a big church.

    I’m not saying it can’t be done, I won’t box God in like that… but generally… no. Lives are changed in families… in relationships… where iron can sharpen iron.

    Hard to get sharp if nobody ever touches.

  2. I resonate with what you are saying Ronni. Here is a bigger question: How can we create welcoming and including communities of faith?

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