While Team Brunson is out on their 2-week Mediterranean vacation, let's talk about the A-Group.
Church, as I've reported here numerous times, and as was reported in the previous FBC Jax blog in early 2007, one of Mac's very first moves as pastor of our church was to hand over the church "marketing", including the design and management of our website, to a man named Maurilio Amorim and his so called "church marketing" firm "The A Group" (Click here to visit their website). It has been reported by several posters here and on the previous blog that The A Group was used by Mac both in Dallas and in Jacksonville to do staffing studies and determine what positions needed to be "re-staffed", or done away with completely. Since we voted for Mac to be our pastor, Maurillio's company has been responsible for our website that we all know is so far behind any other mega church website in its function and usefulness that its pathetic.
I would like for you to take a minute and browse The A Group's website. What you will see will either make you sick, or make you cry, perhaps both.There you will see beautiful, fit and trim, tanned Marillio Amorim using our church materials in his "portfolio" to further market himself to other churches to do their promos and marketing and websites for them. Certainly if he has done such great work for the influential FBC Jax, other pastors would want to purchase his services, right? Much of the artwork in his portfolio will look familiar to you...your tithes and offerings were used to pay Maurillio's firm to to do that awfully hard Christian work that only a Nashville marketing firm can do, that is design artwork and come up with catchy slogans for preacher sermon series and special events. Thank God for the A-Group, what WOULD we have done without them the last two years? Church how low have we sunk that we have to pay some out of town marketing group in Nashville that is totally unfamiliar with our church, our city and its needs, to do all of our artwork and concepts rather than using our own staff and maybe even our own church members, or perhaps local companies that likely would charge much less and are familiar with our city and its needs? I for one know plenty of talented, artistic people who could do this work in our church. Would someone on the finance committee please post here anonymously and tell us how much of our tithes and offerings are going to this marketing firm?
And when you go to their web site, you'll see something else that sickens you. Along side the FBC Jax pieces of his "portfolio" is the work that Maurillio does for Calvin Klein and Tommy Bahama...so Mac has joined our church with a marketing firm that also does work for Calvin Klein and Tommy Bahama! Does this surprise you? Visit the Tommy Bahama website managed by our consultant Maurillio if you ever need to buy a "beer pilsner set" for $49, or a "Wine Away" bottle for your favorite wine for $10, or maybe your home bar needs a "tropical shot glass set" for $39. I myself have purchased the "Embossed 5 oz flask" so I can carry around my Jack Daniels in my bible pouch along with my Christian tracts for those late night Tuesday visitations....and of course no home is complete without their "brown leather cigar and flask set" for $98. Maurillio - are you a church marketing firm or are you a commercial marketing firm helping to peddle alcohol and tobacco paraphernalia? You don't seem to be such a smart marketer after all, since you seem to be diluting your brand of Christian marketing by doing work in the secular arena possibly confusing your clientelle of your company's position in the market.
Hey Mac and Trey, I'm sure you'll be reading this while your family is on their 2-week Mediterranean vacation (by the way, too bad the start of your vacation interfered this morning with your ability to meet our visitors on the one day that we arguably have the largest numbers of visitors - we definitely see where your priorities lie when you cancel the visitor's reception on such an important day so you can get that early head start to Europe!) you said if Homer came back he'd want to know why you only got 50 men to pray with you. Something tells me that if he came back he'd have just a few questions for YOU dear sir about how you dole out God's money to marketing firms.
Have a great vacation Team Brunson, we'll hold the fort down for you until you get back. Maurillio is hard at work designing the logos for your next sermon series, and I'm sure those proofs will be on your desk when you get back.
Maurillio - since your Mac's marketing consultant...can you please explain to him the power of a "personal touch"....that on the one single day of the year when we have the most visitors in our church that he should absolutely make time to get to the visitor's reception? If I was a visitor today on Easter and wanted to meet the pastor but heard him tell me he and his family were headed on vacation to Europe and didn't have time to shake my hand at the reception...well, that would probably confirm many of the things I had been reading on this blog and hoped weren't true.