Church Marketing

This might be one of those "don't get me started" blogs that is, in reality, a "you can't stop me" blog. 

I work in a church. Ask me a year ago if I thought I'd be working in a church. Ask me a year ago if I WANTED to work in a church. .... the answer is no, in case you don't catch sarcasm easily. Ask me 6 months ago when I went to work at a church if I wanted to work in a church. Still, no. Ask me, right now, if I want to work in a church ... you hopefully are catching on, now. 

I went a long time without being in a church regularly. I WENT to churches, mostly for musical reasons, but I wouldn't consider any church a "home" church. Heathenistic, I know, but I have no problem BEING the Church as opposed to GOING TO the church. 

But now I'm back. I'm in the same place every week, and what's more, I'm on staff, and I get to see all the little details that make a church function. This was no mystery to me; I grew up a pastor's kid, so I know that church is more than songs and sermons. But as the Church is changing, it's interesting (and scary, and frustrating, and depressing, and hopeless) to see how churches are fighting to keep relevance in the world. 

Just the other day I was thinking about what it was that frustrated me most. I came up with this: I hate marketing. It occurred to me a few weeks ago in a meeting that I really don't know why people go to church. I know why people should go to church. I know why I would go to church if I wasn't employed by one. 

The problem I have is that the reason we should "go to church" (which, preferably, should read "be a part of a church") comes from our spirit, while Church Marketing tends to appeal to our flesh. The spirit is selfless, and so should be our reasons for being in the church. Then why do we spend so much time trying to attract church-goers' flesh? 

Instead of attracting people to a weekly service where their spirit can be refueled (assuming that spirit has been accessed during the week), why do we advertise great music and good speaking? When an event has actual spiritual girth to it, why is the marketed geared towards the food or prizes involved? 

This post is, as usual for me, to ask more questions than give answers. But, I wonder often if we would just let the Holy Spirit be Lord over our churches, and not our marketing team (or pastors who need to be teaching and leading, rather than marketing), how would that affect today's Church? Less people would show up, that's the first thing. While most would see that as the first sign of failure, I honestly see it as the first sign of success, because the people left over would be there for the content, not the context. THEN, those that have come for the right reasons will invite for the right reasons, and will share for the right reasons, and will evangelize for the right reasons, and "make disciples" for the right reasons. THAT'S a Church I want to be a part of. I'm tired of thinking of ways to convince people to join a club, to attend a meeting, to go on missions. We need to stop appealing to flesh and being disappointed when the Spirit doesn't get involved (or worse yet, shocked when He does get involved). Start teaching how to live in the spirit and I think Church Marketing will redeem itself. And it will stop sucking. 

Blog.Erase.Blog.Erase.Blog about erased blog.

There's been maybe three blogs in the last month that I've started and erased. This is mostly because I would start writing something that seemed like a good idea, but then I realized there ended up being no real conclusion to what I was trying to say. I think in pictures sometimes, and I can catch a glimpse of an idea all at once, and it makes sense, but if I try to pick it apart and write about it, step by step, it's a little inconclusive. 

For example, I realized I don't like maintenance. Oh! The blog on that topic was going to be monumental in its content and relevance. I had all these examples lined up, like how I wish you could just buy a car and it worked perfectly until you got a new one. I don't like having to get the oil changed and spending money on other maintenance. 

I was going to talk about how I don't like making the bed, because you're just going to mess it up that night and have to make it again in the morning. I don't like having to squeegee the water off the glass shower. I don't like that software and hardware get old and need replacing (usually all at the same time). 

These things have alot to do with how my personality works, I guess. I don't like mundane repeated tasks. 

The point at which I erased this blog was where I started to realize that these "mundane" things went deeper, and I realized that's why relationships can be difficult for me sometimes. I enjoy relationships (and I realize their importance), but sometimes the "maintenance" of relationships gets in my way so that I can't enjoy the beauty of my humanity relating to another's. I tend to look at things from a "task" perspective, so that even relationships can feel like work. One of the scariest things about marriage to me is the constant maintenance it has required, and will require. I know it's worth it, and I accept the challenge because I know it's been given by God. He wouldn't have given me a wife (or child, for that matter) if he knew I couldn't handle it.  

That's where I'm growing, and I guess I worried that sharing an area of growth, instead of an area of victory, would be too honest for a blog. ... And now I've blogged it.




One topic. One blog. Short sentences. That aren't really sentences, but phrases or words with a period at the end to imply a pause and give weight to those phrases or words. 

I'm tired of working on Mondays. The weekends beat me up, and I have to get up on Mondays and start it all again. I used to take Mondays off, especially when I was playing three or four gigs per weekend. I rarely even answered my phone on Mondays. It was nice. But, life dictates that I must work on Mondays now. 

Today was a little better though, because I decided to stop at McDonald's for "breakfast." It was 11:30am, but the first meal of the day is breakfast no matter when it happens. I got two Snack Wrap Macs, which I really like (more than I should, probably). It was one of those meal experiences where the last bite was the best bite. I like for the last bite to leave a good mouth memory. 

I also ordered a large iced coffee. I realized why I like McDonald's iced coffee. It's really not that good, but it reminds me of the coffee I used to make when I first started drinking coffee. I was probably 10 or 11 and my dad would let me get some coffee at church. Back then, I think, the coffee was just an excuse to drink sugar packets and powdered creamer. Mix that with percolated church blend, and you have yourself a memory. McD's coffee tastes like an iced version of the coffee of my youth. Of course, it would take 7 or 8 to actually add up to the amount of caffeine I require now. 

I decided to try these new cinnamon melts they have now. They were fantastic but oozed of "not good for me."  

Well, I just found all of those things on The Daily Plate ... Ugh, I just wasted 1300 calories on breakfast. Looks like I'll be eating lettuce for the rest of the day. Why are there so many things that are not healthy? 

I just wrote all that about breakfast. I really wish I had something more important to say. Maybe next time. 


Overdue Baby Pics

I'm so sorry! It's been forever since I've posted pictures of Bella! I know some of you have probably surfed my way several times and been disappointed by my theological and philosophical rants, wondering how that little girl was growing up. I'm going to stop talking now, except to walk you through the last few months of pictures:

We have started practicing on oatmeal. Bella is usually Ok for a few bites, but then decides that a bottle is way faster, so why are you making me eat from this tiny spoon?

A valentine's visit from Granna and Papa (the Smith grandparents).

Booyah ... that's my daughter sitting playing piano by herself. Why did I just say "Booyah"? 1995 called, they want their slang term back.

We took a short walk to the park last week for some Spring pictures. Bella was going for the "thoughtful, serious" look in this one.

Having fun with Mommy.

"Daddy! Did you see those ducks?!?" ... That's what she would say if she could.

She took some silly pictures with Daddy.

This is usually what happens after a few spoonfuls.

We're sitting up now! She can sit up by herself for a few minutes, and is trying very hard to start crawling. 

These next few were taken just today while she was playing. She was smiling at me alot, so I grabbed the camera and got these framable gems.


March 1, 2009

I was thinking of getting into sports, like a real man. I might join this club. They have a president and everything.