We have a mission not a market

Some say, "The Church is a business." I would contest that. The Church is not immune to the cultural influence of the business world. Strategies business protocols are integrated into the Church. Some of this is rather helpful. For instance, good business ethics is good Church ethics. However, the business world influence on the Church is not all great. And perhaps the most difficult influence business has on the Church is that of language. 

Businesses look for their market. They do market research and are able to categorize people into groups with somewhat predictable habits. So you get Kellogg buying up TV time during Saturday morning cartoons in order to pitch to their 'market' the greatest cereal known to humankind - Frosted Flakes. Or Facebook will have targeted ads on your profile based upon past clicking patterns. 


Businesses look to find their market and respond to their markets demands. You looking for something? Just wait, someone will try to sell you on something. But the amazing thing about businesses is that they are able to create a need that you did not know you had. This is the brilliance of the infomercial. I thought towels were good enough then I saw the ShamWow commercial and now I am not so sure.

Churches are influenced in doing this sort of thing - creating a market. I have seen a number of sermon series that are very infomercial-esk. Generating a problem that I did not know I had, and you would never guess who has the solution? The Church that "showed" me my problem.

Churches are not called to a market but to a mission. 

We do not create our mission. We do not do market research to see which neighborhood, who happens to look a lot like us, needs our solutions. We are not set up to pitch a product to a certain type of person based upon past history.

I wonder if we are sacrificing our mission in order to chase our market.