Church vs. Target

I’m a big Church Marketing Sucks fan, but I have to dis on a recent post:

What if Church was Fast, Fun & Friendly?

in which Kevin D. Hendricks compares church to Target and chimes that it should be more:

Fast – You’ll probably accuse me of being too consumerist, but how many visitors can sit through a 45-minute sermon? I know I can’t.

Well, Kevin, consider yourself so accused.

7 Responses to “Church vs. Target”


  1. 1 Fred McKinnon September 24, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Hmm … I see both sides. I’ve heard VERY FEW communicators that can hold my attention for 45 minutes, though .. VERY FEW. Sure we should all be WILLING to stay and listen longer … but there is part of me that thinks we need to accept the fast-paced culture and recognize it for what it is.

    That being said – if you choose to make it “fast and friendly”, that’s fine for one venue, but somewhere, somehow – I sure hope you have “slow and focused” …. or else there won’t be a lot of depth, IMHO.

    FM

  2. 2 alex mclean September 25, 2007 at 1:40 am

    I can’t sit through a 45 minute message…

  3. 3 Mark Warnock September 25, 2007 at 6:14 am

    I’m with you, Billy. Forty-five minutes is no problem. All things being equal, it’s a privilege to sit under the teaching of God’s word. I’m not going to be picky about length.

    (Warning: rant ahead)
    Then again, I have an attention span, unlike so many of my peers.

    I got it from reading books. Remember books?

    Don’t get me started. Too late.

    Having said that, I think many preachers who go 45 minutes would be better if they went for 30. I encouraged my pastor to so discipline himself, and this year he has trimmed from a 45 to 35 minutes, and his effectiveness has gone way up.

  4. 4 Sarah Chia September 25, 2007 at 6:24 am

    This is just the natural outgrowth of the concept of marketing God. You have to give the consumers what they want.

  5. 5 LA September 25, 2007 at 9:37 am

    Not sure if this makes me want to laugh or cry.

    “fast, fun and friendly”.

    Has anyone who suggests that’s what Christianity is ‘supposed to be’ read the bible??

    People in the wilderness for 40 years, people being stoned and crucified for their faith, the leaders of the day spread the message and it was done with love, but it wasn’t necessarily what people wanted to hear…

    Yep, there is a place for fun – my thoughts are that you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously, but take God very seriously. (I think the stories of my scatty moments in life that I’ve shared on my blog make the first part of that pretty clear??) God has a sense of humour.

    But this ‘marketing’ talk scares me – church is not a business but a way of life. And it’s a hard one at that…the more we live out the gospel, the more we are challenged, and the more difficult it gets to keep going…in the past we’ve emphasised this ‘friendly Jesus’ and in creeps that belief that to be a Christian means that you’ll never struggle with life ever again…

    With the 45 minute sermon – I have to say that often I find it difficult to concentrate, but generally that’s because I’m being preached to…I’ve been in meetings where we’ve spent 90 minutes learning from one another and gone home praising God, fired up and ready to start applying what I’ve learned to my life…

    Perhaps it’s not the length of the teaching, but the way that it is done that needs to change?? Interactivity keeps people awake and gets the brain in gear.

    That and perhaps the ‘really long sermon’ would be slightly more bearable if the church pews weren’t so uncomfortable! πŸ™‚

  6. 6 Jon Lloyd September 25, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    I’m with Alex. I can barely sit through a 30 minute message, let alone a 45 minute one…

    My wife is an educator and it’s been proven that a child can only sit still for the number of minutes they are of age. A 3 year old can only sit still for 3 minutes.. a 4 year old can only sit still for 4 minutes.. a 5 year old can only sit still for 5 minutes and so on. (Don’t worry, I know there are exceptions to this rule)

    Maybe I’m just a big kid.. but that would mean I can only sit still for 27 minutes! πŸ™‚

  7. 7 worshipcity September 25, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    45 minutes seems long to me not because of perhaps having to sit there for that long but because for a service that’s only 1 hour and 15 minutes that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for Music, Communion, Baptistm, Announcements (gasp who does those anymore though in a service!) etc.
    I’ve sat and listened to communicators talk for an hour and a half and still wanted more. I’ve listened to preachers speak for 15 minutes and am resisting a coma.


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