"With the digital revolution flattening the distance between authors and end-users, the church is literally a gold mine of opportunity for publishers. Every week, Christian content consumers look at their churches for guide [sic] in their search for resources."
"...the church is literally a gold mine of opportunity..." This is disturbing. This just makes me wonder - how many of our preachers and their ace church marketing consultants view their congregations more as a market with deep pockets to be tapped, than they do as the people of God to be fed and served and discipled?
And even more disturbing is the question: do they really want to reach the "lost" so they can help them find the truth of Jesus Christ, or do the "lost" represent to them an untapped market of potential storehouse tithers? Does the Southern Baptist Convention really want to make inroads to the northeastern United States for the glory of God, or IS THERE GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS?
I hope every pastor that reads this will stop and consider these questions - do you really want to reach the lost, or do you want to grow your church and expand your list of "giving units" to help you build your next building and hire another staff member to make your life easier? When you see a family visiting, do you see their hurts and needs and their potential for ministry, or do you see "benjamins" pasted on their foreheads?
And how odd that so many of these mega church pastors who utilize church marketers like Amorim also preach the false "storehouse tithing" doctrine abusively to their congregations! With the scriptural evidence that the tithing doctrine is absolutely not binding on New Testament Christians, we are left to wonder: do these storehouse tithing preachers REALLY believe the Bible teaches Christians are commanded to give 10%, or do they know it doesn't but teach it anyways to maximize their revenue?
But it goes way beyond the tithe. Mega church pastors become rock stars amongst their "giving units" and their own peers - thus they are magnets for gifts of gullible church members. Cars, clothes, and land gifts - people believe they are giving to "God's man". And not just gifts, the mega church pastors want their members to not only fork over 10% of their income, but they want them to also pay thousands to travel with them on cruises and Holy Land treks. They brazenly use the church website to SELL their trips! Funny, they don't use their power and influence to raise any money for the poor or downtrodden or the "least of these", but they will use their influence to advance causes that benefit them and their families. Gosh, even the NFL Jaguar football players have enough decency to do GOOD in their community for the sake of doing good and wanting nothing in return.
But the marketing extends beyond the Holy Land trips. We've seen at FBC Jax now how the Pastor's Conference has been transformed under Brunson and Amorim as a marketing bonanza, where ministries are encouraged to pay thousands and tens of thousands to get access to the eyes and ears of the attendees - who also pay a fee to attend and to hear - you guessed it - the mega church rock stars. They even now sell access to the pulpit, er I mean "stage". Mike Miller of NavPress was on the platform at last year's Pastor's Conference in an incredibly awkward moment congratulating Mac on his new book and showing a confusing Navigator's video. The marketing never ends. And I won't mention the Jim "Jesus" Caviezel infomercial at PC 2007.
And you know what? It is ALL on the backs of gullible Christians who are the source of these revenue streams. Like the federal government who wants more and more of our money each year and whose bureaucrats take a piece at every stage resulting in only pennies on the dollar actually making it to provide services to citizens, so it is now in modern Christianity. Only pennies on the dollar that we the people, the Christians actually give - goes to do real ministry or missionary work. The vast majority is wasted on salaries and buildings and maintenance and marketing and a myriad of other things that has nothing to do with "Kingdom work", as they like to say.
Yes, these pastors and their marketers are sucking on the teat of the church, milking it for all it's worth - and then to top it off: they have the bald-faced audacity to accuse their church members of "robbing God". Unbelievable. So brazen, all you can do is just sit back and admire it.
So who really are the robbers in this game? And how long will true Christians continue to support such a system? People are leaving the churches in droves because they no longer want to be a part of this system. They are finding smaller churches, or no "church" at all but gather with other believers in their homes.
Meanwhile we wait for some real preachers to step forward and put a stop to the marketing madness.