Our Market

I have an acquaintance who is a religious cliché machine.  Give him a microphone and he can talk 15 minutes and never say anything original.  It doesn’t make sense because it is a string of spiritual one-liners and the saints love it.  At least the old saints love it.  It comforts them that their church is still the same church they have loved all their lives.  It sounds familiar.  It sounds right.  It doesn’t have to make sense. There is a different reaction from the younger people.  This is where it gets tricky.  We have to keep us older members content because we are the financial life-blood of the church.  However, we are not the future of the church.  It is those younger ones who will take over (we hope) after we older ones have been funeralized.

One of the great challenges of speaking is in that 30 minute or less sermon to have something for everyone from 8 to 88.  I have discovered most parents don’t care if there wasn’t anything for them as long as the kids actually listened.  The old will keep coming even if there isn’t much for them because it is their unbreakable habit.  But they will complain.  They love that “old time religion” which was good enough for grandpa.  The issue is it is not good enough for the grandchildren.  We have a generation that are growing up with hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to grab their attention and pocketbook.  That is pretty stiff competition for the pastor and the musicians.

One thing we do have working for us that the big ad companies do not is the power of the Holy Spirit.  So when church doesn’t seem like it is for us older people it isn’t.  We are not the market.  Our children and grandchildren are the market.

Written by Roger Bothwell on June 5, 2014

Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574