The Business of Church


The age old saying goes something like “don’t talk religion, don’t talk politics,” right?

They are both “hot button” words for very sensitive subjects, as people often have very strong opinions on both, those opinions are rooted with very strong emotions and it is next to impossible to “prove” most things in both religion and politics, without the power of hind sight.

One thing that both have in common is that most people can agree that mixing corporate talk with either of these subjects is a sure-fire way to take the conversation up a few notches–as most believe the neither church, nor politics, should have anything to do with corporations at all.  This belief is probably rooted in the fact that both religion and politics seek to provide answers to social questions, and should be focused on the micro level, the individual; in contrast, corporations almost always concern themselves with the macro, or the masses of people.

Both paradigms have their place, and both can be useful as within their own framework.

Taking all of this into account, I am reminded of a conversation that I had with my uncle, who happens to be a preacher, about the “corporate” side of running a church.  While my bias is that my uncle is a humble mid-western preacher, I should also note that he is an educated man as well, whom is a part-time professor at a few universities in our area.

Our conversations about respecting the “corporate mentality” generally revolve around how the church presents herself to the everyday visitor.  Meaning, we try to take the perspective of the “visitor” to church, and try to take it all in as we assume that person would.

The main concept we generally discuss is how the praise and worship section of service is executed.

I play the guitar for our church band, and also have a DJ gig outside of church as well.  Within my DJing, I have learned a great deal about lighting, ambience, and the like and have approached my uncle several times about incorporating some of these “gifts” of mine into our weekly service.

We discuss the pros and con’s of having a “concert” in church which really boils down to recruiting a younger crowd via implementing “cooler” things such as lighting effects and what now; however, the main thing we do in church is to praise God, and that we should not add distractions that may interfere with our weekly relationship building with our savior.

The point is that he wants his church to be attractive to a young crowd, just as I’m sure every preacher wants.  With religion though, followers are generally called to be humble, to put God first, and to ensure that they are not practicing idolatry.  All of which is a difficult balance to maintain.

When thinking of the church as a business, we need new people coming through the door, but we should not compromise our values and our message for growth’s sake.

So the next time you’re in church and you start to get a “corporate” type of vibe, just take a look around you and perceive the struggle that may or may not be happening behind the scenes.  While a church may or may not need an internet marketing consultant to build a fancy website and attract new visitors via content marketing–well hey, maybe that’s exactly what the church needs to reach today’s younger audiences.

Judge and become angry slowly.  Seek discernment.  Above all, praise the Lord!