The church marketers are those who have followed the innovations in "doing" church pioneered by Bill Hybels at Willow Creek Community Church in 1975...
This approach, it is said, is seeking to preserve the old evangelical message while delivering it in new ways. Its strategies have been borrowed from the corporate world. The key idea is that there is a market for the Christian message. They utilize marketing techniques and proven entertainment formats to penetrate that market.
This innovation seemed to be the train that was leaving town three decades ago, and pastors by the thousands scrambled to get aboard. Here was the magic formula for success. Though a genuine passion for evangelism no doubt lay somewhere in the experiment, it was also wrapped in the most stunning cultural naivete. It was entirely predictable that this experiment would, in due course, crest and then lose its attraction, though there are always stragglers who keep chasing trends long after they have ceased to be fashionable. That is what is still happening.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
In addition to the older, classical evangelicals whom David Wells identifies in his book, The Courage to be Protestant, he mentions an evangelical constituency which he calls the "marketers."