Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Christian Business Directories

I like to visit other churches' websites from time to time to check out the latest stuff that other folks are doing in the kingdom. I noticed a lot of churches are now doing these Christian business directories. On their site they will list the businesses of church members or other Christian businesses in the area. The idea being that persons from the church would frequent those businesses. You see the same thing in the yellow pages or on people's business cards when they put the fish logo on it.

About a year ago we had a group come and what to sell us space in a regional directory of Christian businesses and organizations. It was kind of like a yellow pages of Christian businesses and organizations. They delivered these books to churches in the region and Christian bookstores etc.

I told them that we appreciated but were not interested because we at New Season Church were interested in reaching people that had never been to church or stopped going to church. Those kind of people would not be the kind of people getting these books. People in churches or who frequented Christian bookstores would be getting those books. Maybe a good deal for a painter, plumber, or dentist but not for a new church like us. It would be like advertising our church on the Christian radio station- why? Probably 99% of those people have churches and that is great. Why would we be trying to reach them?

Also, should we really be encouraging Christians to be shopping at the businesses of other Christians exclusively? Does that not indeed hamper our witness? Do we run the risk of constructing a Christian ghetto where we only buy Christian goods and services and send our kids to Christian schools? My opinion is that we ought to be engaging the world. We are to be IN the world but not OF the world.

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years Later

We remember now five years later.

George Barna takes a look at the impact 9.11 had on spirituality and worship attendance in this article.

I remember the great surge in worship attendance in the church I was serving. And, I remember all the talk about what an opportunity the church had to be the church and help people to cope with this tragedy.

What happened? Not much, according to Barna. The upsurge in attendance and religious interest has dwindled. Attendance is back to pre-9.11 numbers. Persons are reading their Bibles and praying the same they were before the attacks.

Maybe the answer is not God bless America but America bless God!