Marketing and the Church

I get into debates with myself over what is “marketing” for the church. What “counts” vs. what “doesn’t count,” etc.

But then I read articles like this one and just get sick. The article begins like this:

In the back room of a theater on Beale Street, John Renken, 42, a pastor, recently led a group of young men in prayer.

“Father, we thank you for tonight,” he said. “We pray that we will be a representation of you.”

An hour later, a member of his flock who had bowed his head was now unleashing a torrent of blows on an opponent, and Mr. Renken was offering guidance that was not exactly prayerful.

“Hard punches!” he shouted from the sidelines of a martial arts event called Cage Assault. “Finish the fight! To the head! To the head!”

The author of the article calls it right a few paragraphs later when he says these are “recruitment efforts.”

When we are reduced to using terms (and gladly using them, I might add) like “recruitment,” I am deeply saddened. Especially in a venue like this. Since we do not know our history very well, it may do me no good to say something silly like, “Sounds like Rome and the gladiators to me.”

Something just seems terribly wrong in the American church, and I don’t think it’s me just being old and crotchety.

5 thoughts on “Marketing and the Church

  1. The church needs to be “Provocative”.

    ‘Christians are not just meant to try to do good, be nice and help the world work a little better. They are instead to act as signposts to another order, another way of life, another kingdom which can only be glimpsed in this world, but has not yet arrived completely’

  2. I’m not against MMA but for the church congregation the gospel should be central and be the attraction. If people aren’t attracted to the gospel then they’re not going to be genuine Christians.

    Using “fight the good fight of faith” from Timothy 6:12 out of context is just horrible.

    If they want men to be more like real men they can teach it through the Bible.

    Groups of Christian athletes are fine but they don’t have to make a church out of it.

  3. It reminds me of way back in 1971 when I went off for my first year of college. Of course at that college you didn’t get any choice the first semester of who your roommate would be, and I got a football jock. Well, we became and remained good friends, but I’ll always remember when we were talking one time, and he said, “Oh, I pray. I pray that God will let me go out there on the football field and hit my opponent, and hit him hard!”


  4. This makes me sick inside. Marketing church. I am trying to gather my thoughts on this one and i can’t without seething. Provocative? It should be that Christ is the central thing that is exciting and inviting more than any other added feature a church offers. more than cell groups, sporting events, worship styles, potlucks, and what nots. Should a church have to do something other than or even along with presenting the message to provoke people to come is an ugly thing to me. I come to meet God in the sanctuary and the teaching of the Word, 1st and foremost. And if the church has an outing for me to fellowship with I can, but it should not be the other way around. Man this makes me ill. And i don’t like when scripture is used out of context at all either, that really floors me.

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