I still wonder - why do pastors feel the need to take the money given to them by God's people, given to do ministry, and then they need to take some of that money and hire a "marketing expert" like Maurilio Amorim? What role does "marketing" play in reaching people with the gospel? More specifically, what skills and insights does a Maurilio Amorim or any other hired gun church marketing expert possess that the seminary-educated church staff does NOT have?
Through the magic of Twitter, we see that another large SBC church is employing the services of Maurilio Amorim. It seems that Maurilio got on an airplane in Nashville this weekend, flew to southern Florida, and did one of his "secret shopper" visits; presumably to FBC West Palm Beach pastored by Jimmy Scroggins. Maurilio stayed at a nice hotel, Twittered about his meal at a French bistro and shared a picture of his dessert, and then visited a church Sunday morning. And Twittered about the strong perfume of the lady sitting in front of him - perhaps he needs some hazard pay for having to endure such hardship.
I like Jimmy Scroggins, and listen to his sermons regularly. But how ironic is it, that just after he and his co-pastor preach a stewardship series ("Crazy Love"), calling people to be generous givers (which by the way was a very good stewardship series), and then the next week they are taking money given by God's people for ministry and hiring the A-Group to help them figure out how to do their ministry and how to market it?
Some other questions: would any of these men who made the decision to hire a church marketing firm at FBC WPB, if it were THEIR MONEY and the church were their own private business, would have hired Maurilio and paid for his airfare and his hotel and his hourly consulting fees?
I have acknowledged before that the A-Group does some very good work in the technology area, website design, etc. And I don't begrudge Maurilio making his living by selling his wares in a free market, so the criticism is not aimed at Maurilio - its at the churches that seem to think they need to hire a church marketing firm to accomplish God's will for their church.
If these church marketing firms are such a good idea and a wise use of the money given sacrificially by church members, why doesn't the SBC help some of the smaller churches purchase Maurillio's services? I might think Maurilio's services would be of better use at a smaller church with less resources and fewer and lesser trained ministers. But at mega churches where there are scores of highly trained (and paid) ministers on staff - where does Maurilio come in?
And if church marketing plays such an important role...are we teaching church marketing principles in our seminaries so that we can HIRE a seminary trained "church marketing" expert? Or is that too worldly to teach in seminary - and if so, then why use them in the first place?
Last question: would the Watchdog readers be happy to know that YOUR money was used to hire a church marketing guy to do a secret shopper visit? Would you be happy to know that in addition to 50% of your church budget already being spent on staff salaries and bennies, that the staff feels the need to hire an "expert" to reach your community with the gospel?