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The Man Who Brought Marketing to Church

This statistician is changing the way pastors think.

What have you been reading lately?" asked LEADERSHIP.

"A lot of George Barna's stuff," the pastor replied.

Was this the pastor of a large nondenominational church in a burgeoning suburb?

No. This pastor shepherds a mainline congregation of seventy in a midwestern cornfield.

"What draws you to reading Barna?"

"Barna makes me think in fresh ways about the church," the pastor said.

George Barna does that. An author, marketing researcher, and head of Barna Research Group, he burst onto the American ministry scene in the early '90s with books like "The Frog in the Kettle and User-Friendly Churches." He does not blush at using marketing and church in the same sentence. Nor does he hesitate in "The Power of Vision and Today's Pastors" to tell pastors, as Ford Motor Company put it, to "lead, follow, or get out of the way."

LEADERSHIP associate editor Dave Goetz traveled to George Barna's offices in Southern California to meet the man behind the numbers. ...

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