Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Market Driven Ministry: It Cuts Both Ways

Great post from Tom Pryde: "Market Driven Fundamentalists?" Here are some of his observations:
* “Bait and Switch Sunday” - some event used to attract the unsaved like a time-share marketing program.
* “Better Christian Living” - various programs and life recommendations designed to help the believer to know how to live in a Christian way.
* “Music to Prepare the Heart” - music used as a means to soften the individual for the preaching (can be conservative or contemporary).
I'll add a couple of my own:
* Selecting an evangelist based on the number of public/visible decisions he typically generates.
* Judging spirituality by external conformity.

Sometimes I think we don't realize how easily we mirror the philosophies we repudiate as we subtly adapt them to our own proclivities and preferences.


Frank Sansone said...


I agree with you on the first one being clearly "Market Driven."

I am not sure of the connection of the second one to "Market Driven." Could you clarify that for me? (I am not arguing for or against the point, I am just trying to understand the connection.)


Frank Sansone

Ben said...

Thanks Frank. I communicated very poorly here. What I was referring to is that I believe there are people who shop for churches based on how likely a church is to make their kids turn out to look and act the way they want their kids to look and act. Spiritual depth is not a priority to them. Some fundamentalist churches are market-driven (perhaps without intending to be) when they give those parents the kind of conformity-oriented ministries, even though it can be spiritually detrimental.

Does that clarify my thinking?

Frank Sansone said...


Thanks for the clarification. I was not sure where you were going with this.

I would guess there would probably be some parents whose goal is probably along those lines. As a Youth Pastor, I was often concerned with the parents who seemed only concerned that their children were turning out to be "good kids" while short-changing those influences in their lives that were seeking to help them become "Godly" instead of just "good."

I would imagine that the vast majority of youth groups and churches that hold to high standards are not doing so from a "market-driven" mentality, but rather because of a sincere belief that those standards are honoring to the Lord. I can imagine, however (if this is what you are stating), that there are some that are essentially "cultural fundamentalists" who desire a conformity simply because that is what they are comfortable with and what helps attract the crowd that they desire.

Again, thanks for clarifying.

Frank Sansone