Monday, July 26, 2010

5 1/2 What if Big Business Ran the Church

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if churches were run by big corporations? I have.

-1 First Church of Walmart - it would be be the biggest church around for miles. A real come as you are fellowship. You'd be sure to be greeted, but don't expect too much expert help after that. The pastor would man the Customer Service desk single handed. Sermons would be broadcast from the mother-ship in Arkansas to big screen HDTVs in every price range. Folks that serve would receive rewards cards. There would be an express line for folks only wanting a little church on Sunday. And Kid's Church in the Toy Department! Hey, you might even get a roll-back on tithes and offerings.

-2 Dunkin' Donuts Family Church - Fellowship time would rock! The decor, a bright pink and medium brown would give spiritual comfort to caffeine deprived. The kids would be on a sugar high until Monday morning. Double-Shot Latte Sermons, Iced Home Fellowships and Sunday combos! You might even get a drive-up pastoral counseling session with someone that speaks your language. DDFC has systematic and cultural difference from the Starbucks Christian Fellowships - but there are no baristas (Italian for bartender) here. And they'd have coffee and donuts everywhere - even for communion.

-3 British Petroleum First Congressional Church  - Wrought with scandal as immense as the fall of the PTL Club in the 1980's, it's the most prosperous non-profit in the USA. Well, if oil is a sign of the anointing, then you won't find a yoke within a thousand miles of this church. Off-shore church plants would provide a multitude of mission possibilities. No altar calls, lots of suits and ties. Just don't mention getting "saved" or "cleaned up" too loud, it could be bad for membership.

-4 Toyota Prius Evangelical - Another mega-church with programs to fit every make and model of family. Their in denial that some of there membership has run off ahead of them causing incessant PR problems - especially the selling of indulgences.Often accused of looking much like other Eastern religions, they still hold a place as one of the largest denominations in th world. None the less, spiritual tunes-ups, body work and an occasional overhaul have driven love offerings to an all time high. For the average Christian, they've got an average gospel, but the cross has been displaced by the thing that looks like a stylize water buffalo.

-5 Microsoft Unitarian Church - Every thing would be under the control of Pastor Bill. He'd regularly denounce the competition down south as a product of the fruit, the flake and the nut state. With billions in yearly donations, the word "corporate" takes on a new meaning. A real multi-cultural church, with legions of programmers, yet you won't find anyone from Apple-asia, here. Evey new program is the same as the old, using more resources and offering a mediocre Christian experience.

- 5 1/2 Apple - based on the book of Jobs...


Charlie Chang said...

I think we're too late and churches are already being run as a corporation.

2SenseWorth said...

If that video is your experience with how churches respond to drawing in and greeting newcomers then no wonder you're always miffed and I'm always thinking, "what's got him so bent out of shape???" LOL Always been proud of, and grateful for my imperfect yet warm, loving, and onfire church, but never felt so grateful as I do after that.

Tony C said...

Okay...a was laughing when I started the video, then I burst out laughing when I got to 'Coffee is good...all the time!'

I have to agree with Charlie. Church, while not as dominant an entity as in the Middle Ages, has become more and more corporate. Look at the influence of Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and James Dobson and the true conglomerates each one controls.

At what point does a mere mortal man born of a sin nature fall victim to the lure of riches and fame afforded to them by using the name of Christ? Not saying that is the case with these three, to name just a few, but character of that magnitude is rare at best.

photogr said...

Coffee: SO that is my problem. I don't drink coffee.

I saw the coffee video at a local church once. Amazingly it reflected the church atmosphere it was shown in.

It is a fact that churches have to operate as a business and make profit to finance their operations and projects.

Salaries have to be paid to the key people in the church,the pastor has to have a place to live besides under a bridge, mortgages have to be paid for the multi million dollar building expansion in anticipation of the rush of new attendees ( saved souls),have to have money to send to Africa to drill for water wells in impovershed villages but ignore the people in the towns that are living under bridges right in their own town.

What I see is the churches have to operate as a business but they need direction and priorities set to utilize the actual money that is being brought in effectively and where it will count.

Dumping millions of dollars for water wells in Africa and millions for expansion of the buildings in the church reminds me of our current government business plans.

More tax and spend. More borrow and spend. In the church it is more tithing and spend and More borrow and spend.

Perhaps the churches should hire actual business CEOs to run the operational aspects of the church as a profit earning entity with an emphasis on customer service as a priority.

David said...

You guys are all way to serious! This was supposed to make you laugh -

You are right, churches can be run like corporations. That is why I propose and Act 2 type of church, 1 Corinthians 14 as a service format.

We'll have to see where the church is going as we head for the end times.

Tracy said...

I had to laugh at this one!

My own experience has been that some churches are like corporate American already, and some aren't. I think I relate to 2SenseWorth in that I'm "grateful for the imperfect yet warm, loving, and onfire church" that I get to be part of.

David said...

@Tracy - well, I am glad you have a sense of humor!

2SenseWorth said...

Hey I LOL'd in my post! Hence "sense of humor" Comment was meant to be funny too, could be constrewed differently I guess. I enjoy your blog, and this one helped me to understand your dissatisfaction better with the church, even if it was only meant to be a funny!?? :-)God bless ya and write on---->

photogr said...

David: I was quite serious. Sorry about that.

Perhaps churches should look into ways to entice well heeled financially sound new people to attend their churches and ignore those that are not so financially sound.

Wait a minute! They already do that don't they? God forbid some one walks in wearing a sack cloth and a rope for a belt that is living under a bridge looking to be saved.

David said...

You guys are great! 2Sense I saw the LOL's. I think I've known your style for many years now. What was the name of the chat hall?

@Larry - yeah. You sound like me sometimes. Church was not a great experience. I am so sorry for that. If Christian can't connect, how the heck are the non-believers going to connect.

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