Our Christian church, has in many ways in recent years, began to operate under the paradigm of a corporation. Churches look primarily to success in terms of numbers, responses and is almost solely result-driven. This result-driven nature has the expectation, as do corporations, that if results are not acheived quickly, timely and efficeintly then the recent undertakings are to be scrapped and a new “program” is to be ushered in. It feels as if the Church has forgotten the remaining power that sin exerts and that Satan still exerts as much force and power in the world as he did when the Apostles wrote their letters and gospels. We operate often in a fashion that we can attack sin and Satan in the same manner that a corporation attacks a financial bind. But the nature of sin and Satan is far more cunning and powerful than a financial bind or the plan of attack to gain more money. In terms of evangelism, the Church has assumed a position that the way to bring people, that is into churches is by presenting something rather appealing to them. There are various methods employed “getting non-believers into the church”. One of the most common methods done today is the incorporation of “modern” music. I do not demean playing modern style of music in church, even in a more archaic style liturgy churches do not play the same style employed in African, Mid-Eastern, Oriental, or even ancient Jewish tradition (of, say, King David). My problem is not so much with style, but with motivation for and intentions in playing these kinds of music. As a side note, much of modern christian music, in the words of Andrew Beaujon, author of “Body Piercing Saved My Life” is “adolecent” in its theology and self-centered in its focus (see Outsider Redeems Christian Rock ). Their motivations, though often annouced to be Gospel-centric, are not played out in such means, for even the gospel presented at such events are rather weak and ineffective and the gospel is often overshadowed by the event itself, which is often comparable to a rock concert.
The reason, as I see it, for this developing mentality in the church is the loss of solid, correct, biblical doctrine. In our case under study, the doctrine of Unconditional Election. The reason I say this is that were the church aware of the irrefutable unconditional election of the saints, which is accompanied by an assurance that the preaching of the gospel in convition and power of the Holy Spirit is not only necessary, but, sufficient for salvation, then the motivation for outside sources of attraction would diffuse. It often feels as though the church has lost its faith in the fact that God has not only chosen those whom he will save, but will also employ all the necessary means through the Holy Spirit and Cross of Christ to effectually bring about that which He has ordained to happen. Hence, why the church today is “marketing” Jesus and Christianity, as though they are not attractive enough in themselves. Our efforts to “get people into the church” would not be through such lowly means of flyers, ads, commercials, programs, self-helps and the like, were we assured of God’s predestining purpose of election. We would instead rest in trust in the efficacious power of God to bring about His purposes, and therefore be much more inclined to reach people through simple, powerful, bold, courageous preaching and living out of the gospel. This, I believe is one reason why the outside world (at least in the West) finds the church unattractive. It is just like them. Just another corporation, full of marketing, goals, expectaions, deadlines, etc. They are not being reached out to on the basis of servanthood, that is, we are not going to non-believers on the basis that we are here to serve and show Christ, but rather, the church has lost is “go to them” missional focus of the New Testament (see primarily Matthew 28:19) and become instead a “come to us” religion of the Old Testament (which was left behind at the ascension of Christ), and often mirroring that of a modern-day mall – Put out the necessary advertisements, make sure the sale is enticing enough and let conscience do the work.
I believe that one of the main ways to confront this corporate style marketing employed by the church is not simply to rid itself of this mentality, but to fill itself with the solid biblical doctrine of the Unconditional Election of God. Were we to see that it is God who is the one who not only saves, but also calls, we would see that this is not our job. Instead, we would see our roles as those whom God has sent out into the world to serve and preach the gospel confidently, boldly, courageously and without fear, resting in the power and work of the Holy Spirit to convict and awaken consciences of those whom God has Elected unto salvation.