Tuesday, January 4, 2011

never try to sell a meteor

photo: gapingvoid.com


A few years ago, I saw the above cartoon on Hugh McLeod's gapingvoid.com.


I don't know why, but it meant something to me at the time.  Perhaps it was the combination of this cartoon and another that said: "If you talked to people the way that advertisers talk to people, they'd punch you in the face."


I was finishing Bible college at the time and preparing to work in a church full-time, but I had this lingering sense that churches talked to people like advertisers, and I wanted to stop that.


The only problem was that this strategy, the mass-marketing, polished ad campaign, easy-access Sunday service kind of church was incredibly effective at attracting people.  Bill Hybels, the inventor of this consumer-oriented church strategy, now admits that it has been largely ineffective at deeply affecting very many lives, but even that admission hasn't stopped the madness.


See, big crowds equal big dollars if you're doing it right.  The right songs, plus the right message, plus the right lighting and ambiance can open virtually any miser's pocketbook for at least a few bucks.  Pastors can then build big buildings, support mission trips, speak to thousands each week, and be backed by an adult-contemporary quality band.  It's the dream: ministry without the barrier of resources.

So selling the opposite isn't very popular.  It feels a little bit like trying to sell a meteor to a dinosaur.  Nobody wants to buy in to something that they feel could very well kill them, unless they're crazy, reckless, or able to see some bigger purpose behind it.

On that note, welcome to Annoys the Dinosaur.

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