Now the video links to a website called Beyond Relevance. It is a blog that helps churches to better market themselves. It is written by Richard L. Reising, author of the book ChurchMarketing 101®: Preparing Your Church for Greater Growth. On Reising's blog he states the goal of his blog is to not only help churches develop and grow but to do it in a way so that it doesn't water down the message.
[Excerpt taken from Beyond Relevance]
The truth is, there are many deeper issues behind church growth and the way we do things that factor into the church's success in reaching people. To be effective, a church has to be so much more than just relevant.
My desire is to bring these deeper dynamics of church to light. If we do not understand the real root of the issue, we’ve missed it all together. It is my passion to reveal the roots of church life that work hand in hand with relevance to produce long-term sustainable growth.
Any movement that does not grow and adapt over time will die out. I have seen and been to churches that are on the verge of extinction (tiny churches with 20-30 members) and to those that have strayed too far from the message just to draw in members. What Mr. Reising is suggesting (I think, I haven't read the book) is that there needs to be a balance so that not only do you keep the message intact but you deliver in a manner fit for the 21st century.
What I did enjoy about this film is how it does reflect the relationship between some churches and new visitors. New visitors are like curious squirrels at the park not knowing if someone they're approaching is friend or foe. On their way in the new visitors notice how everyone publicly displays their love for coffee. They are anxious and nervous so they park themselves away from everyone else. After passing several "Manager Parking Only" signs, which I assume reflects pastor only parking at some larger churches (I'm guessing since I've only been to churches under 250 members), they had some trouble getting past the locked doors. That alone would have sent me running if I were in their shoes. Everything from greeters, members, and even the signs are just a festering pool of intimidation. Nothing about this "church" felt welcoming at all. And that's exactly the point.
If your church can't do a halfway decent job of welcoming visitors how do you plan on keeping them?
Although a part of me cringes at the fact that churches are trying new ways to market themselves as if they were a business (which I've realized they are) I do applaud them for at least trying. Now I hope most churches don't go as far as some others by opening a McDonald's or a Fitness Center in their lobby or installing an ATM making donations quick and easy.
I wonder if God can directly deposit blessing into my checking account?