• Jim Morgan

    Brandon – I like where you’re heading with the article but believe your definitions are off, which throws off your conclusions. Yes, the “lost sheep” are “consumers” but the issue is with the definition of church members. Biblically, they are the ekklesia (“called-out ones”…”those belonging to the Lord”), therefore it’s the efforts to attract and retain church members, treating them (not the lost) as “customers” (which is being done by nearly all church leaders today, not just a few) that’s behind the rapid decline of churches in America in growth, impact, influence and perception. Clinging to a shrinking pool of frequent churchgoers is driving the catering vs. challenging of faithful believers to BE the church, pursuing the lost (the intended, biblical “consumer”). In other words, members ARE the “church” and therefore are “insiders”, more like employees than voluntary attendees – and as insiders need to be equipped and trained well (e.g. like employees of a company) to take the Gospel to outsiders (i.e. the lost/”customers”). Instead, nearly all church leaders today simply tell members to invite their non-believing friends to church to hear from the “professionals” rather than equipping and deploying them through discipleship to share the Gospel themselves. Of course, releasing an army of well trained ministers to serve as the church personified is far more effective than hoping non-believers will show up at a worship service when they don’t worship the Lord. My weekly blog over the past two years relies on those definitions of “church” and “customer” (http://meettheneed.org/blog).

    • Jim, points taken, and thanks for your candor and kindness in pushing back a little. Great perspective! And thanks for the link to your blog – I’ll check it out!

      • Jim Morgan

        Glad you’re writing on this topic as well, Brandon. Any organization that defines itself and its “customer” incorrectly is bound to struggle, and the Church is no exception. Can’t think of a more important task than the one the Lord has the two of us working on – strengthening and encouraging His Church.