Church Marketing, Breaking Ground for the Harvest by George Barna

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Having concluded that he has already won the battle surrounding the “is marketing the church biblical” issue in his previous book, Barna now moves on to tell us how to get the job done. (p. 13,14). The essence of the market-driven philosophy (which Barna believes has many Scriptural examples, p. 23, and that even evangelism is a marketing technique, p. 20) is to meet people’s felt needs (p. 21). Herein lies the great flaw in the marketing approach – the purpose of the church has been turned on its head. The church does not exist to meet people’s needs, thus turning God into a benevolent genie who pops out of his lamp to deliver goodies and help us cope. The purpose of the church is to glorify God and instruct people how to please Him (beginning with salvation).

With the marketing strategy firmly established and defended, in his own mind, the rest of the book (from chapter 3 on) is almost indistinguishable from any other secular marketing book. I.e. we draw people to the gospel and the church the same way Wal-Mart draws them to the stores.

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