In our culture, bigger is better. Everyone, it seems, wants a bigger house and a bigger car. Businesses want to grow up to be in the Fortune 500, or the Inc. 5000. We buy stuff in bulk at big warehouse stores, and supersize our French fries.
It’s a mentality that has crossed over into the church world, too. Megachurches are celebrated, studied, and used as models for ministry. One ministry publication in particular trumpets the fastest growing churches every year in a special issue. Yet three out of four protestant churches in America today have weekly attendance under 200, with two-thirds of those under 100.1 And you can’t do ministry in a small church like you do in a big church.
We believe that God has
It’s time to love American made. At least that is the message Chrysler paid approximately $9 million dollars to tell us last Sunday during the Super Bowl. And whether you are an American car lover or not, the ad had impact. In fact, most Super Bowl ads do. But why? Is there something that churches can learn from these over-priced ads to help us better reach people for God?
Expectations shape our perceptions. In other words, when we expect quality, we’re more likely to experience quality. I recently read about some research by Dan Ariel, a professor at Duke University, that confirms this. Here is one experiment his team did, in his words:
For many, 2009 will be remembered as a low point during the Great Recession. But some will also remember it as the start of personal spiritual renewal, because of the ministry of church leaders like yourself.
It is not just individuals who have been affected by the economic downturn. According to one expert in the industry, there have been more church foreclosures in the last year than in the previous 20 years combined.1 And nearly every church and ministry organization has faced a decline in giving this year, resulting in pay cuts, layoffs, and reduction in ministry capacity.
Yet there is good news in this. Today there is a hunger for…