The Church Of The “Market Share”

Christian faith in America, heck even spirituality of any kind in America, seems to have devolved into this “tell them what they want to hear” formula that fixates on attracting a greater market share, greater numbers, greater donations, and greater media coverage. When our spirituality is marked by these things, are we even attending to the real spiritual issues facing our human condition? To this Eugene Peterson makes this stunning and accurate observation in his book “Run With The Horses: The Quest For Life At Its Best.”

If the sociologists are right, more and more people are becoming disappointed and disaffected with the church as it is and are increasingly marginalized. The most conspicuous response of the church at this loss of “market share” is to develop more sophisticated consumer approaches, more efficient management techniques. If people are not satisfied, we’ll find a way to woo them back with better publicity and glossier advertising. We’ll repackage church under fresh brand names. Since Americans are the world’s champion consumers, let’s offer the gospel on consumer terms, reinterpreting it as a way to satisfy their addiction to More and Better and Sexier. The huge irony is that the more the Gospel is offered in consumer terms, the more the consumers are disappointed. The Gospel is not a consumer product; it doesn’t satisfy what we think of as our “needs.”

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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