Church & Culture
People Aren’t as Loyal to a Church Or Denomination Anymore – Good For Them
We need to stop whining about people’s lack of commitment to our churches and give them something - and someone - worth committing to.

Don’t believe me? Ask the folks at Blackberry and Yahoo! what happens when you assume customer loyalty instead of working hard to keep them.

Why I’m Glad Church Brand Loyalty Is Dead

The institutional church today is like the US auto industry of the 1970s in many ways. We’re relying too heavily on people’s loyalty to a church format.

A format that is already DOA. And, like the US auto industry, many of us refuse to see it.

When we hold on to the false notion that people should want to do church the way we do it, we fail to offer them a better, more valuable church experience.

What Will People Be Loyal To?

While people’s commitment to brands has changed, human nature hasn’t. People will commit to a church for the same two reasons they’ve always committed to anything.

1. Something Worth Committing To

Loyalty to a worship style, a building, a denomination or a pastor is a poor substitute for being committed to Jesus. But, too often, one has been mistaken for the other.

Loyalty to a worship style, a building, a denomination or a pastor is a poor substitute for being committed to Jesus.

We need to stop asking people to commit to things they don’t care about (and probably shouldn’t care about) and give them something and someone they want to care about.

People want to be challenged. Believers want to be discipled. Everyone wants a cause worth living for and a person worth dying for.

Jesus is worth committing to. Anything less, and you might as well stay in bed.

Doing church better isn’t about serving people’s every whim and reinforcing the unbiblical, consumer-oriented church paradigm. That’s a big part of the old-school model that is dying out.

It’s also not about adding an additional burden to my already overworked peers in pastoral ministry. Quite the opposite. Doing this won’t add an additional burden, it will relieve and re-energize us.

There’s nothing harder on a pastor than a congregation that’s more committed to methods, music and facilities than to Jesus. Whether its older traditional ones, or new, trendy ones.

On the other hand, nothing will encourage and energize our calling more than a church full of passionate, worshipful, ministry-oriented Jesus-followers.

2. A Reasonable Path to Commitment

Companies like Netflix have figured this out. A couple years ago they shocked the entertainment industry when they offered original TV programming one season at a time instead of one episode at a time. People can watch an entire season whenever and wherever they want to now. Including all in one sitting if they feel like it. And they often do.

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The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

February 03, 2017 at 3:14 AM

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