I have heard complaints from people who are angry that their church is being run too much like a business. I've never quite understood that objection -- after all any group of people who collect money should have some sort of business organization, for accountability if nothing else. I wouldn't put anything in the plate if the money was just dumped in the vestabule and was gone by the time the last person left the building. Church bills must be paid -- electricity, phone, etc. Employees who draw a salary must have taxes withheld. Clearly there must be some sense of "business" to a local church.
I think the objection is more rightly described as a church being run with the same goals as a retail store or a factory. The bottom line for a business is the bottom line. The bottom line for a church is glorifying God. That is the bottom line, right? We may try to statistically analyze every possible indicator which can be added, subtracted and divided by pi, but it's all about glorifying God. Right?
Sure, I've known church board members whose major concern is the financial picture. Some of them don't seem to have much concern about the need for evangelism, especially when the offerings are down. But then again, those people were using their God-given abilities to help the ministry of the church.
So what about using marketing techniques to reach more people? Are there specific rules to be followed if a church wants to invite seekers to visit? Are radio ads too worldly? What about a television spot? A full-page newspaper advertisement? It seems that anything other than posting service times and unlocking the doors can be seen as too commercial and anything less can be viewed as uncaring. It's a lose-lose. Anyone can complain and see that their complaint has merit. Perhaps this criticism is more a matter of preference than a definite standard. Perhaps I'm missing something, but for the most part I don't see a church being run like a business to be a problem, provided the goal is to glorify God instead of to make a profit.
This does lead us into another area though...
Up next: Conforming to the World.