Here's one that will get you thinking. I live in the midwest. Typical small town. I remember years back when Walmart came to town. It's a battle that has taken place in communities all over the country. Small local merchants tremble. How will we be able to compete? I've recently watched with interest in my small town when the new, improved SUPERWalmart opened (they tore the old one down). Now, in our town, we can purchase FOOD at our Walmart as well. This made the local grocery store chain across the street change the way they do business. They remodeled their store. The spent a ton of money on advertising telling everyone in our town that they've lowered their prices on thousands of items. We want your business, they said. And it almost came across at times as begging... please don't go there, please keep shopping here. The end result in our community is that we now have two stores, and lower grocery prices (which is important to many people).
Well, yesterday I was reading over at Don Chapman’s Worship Ideas blog; and he asks what will happen if the Walmart Factor ever hits your small town. Of course, he’s talking about the multi-site movement that is finding more and more larger megachurches branching out and opening new locations all over the place. How will your church respond when and if it happens in your town? Don asks…
What will happen if [or when] Rick Warren [Todd’s insert… RW probably isn’t a good example for MMI readers! Let’s say Ed Young instead!] plants a church in your town? Suddenly, I’ll bet the battles over the color of your carpet, or whether you do enough hymns will matter that much in the face of fierce competition by a megachurch on the move.
Which church do you think your average visitor would rather go to: a church that allows off-pitch Aunt Sally to sing solos, or a mega church with standards? [By the way, you don’t have to be a megachurch to have standards.]
In other words, churches, get over your dumb, ingrown habits and start getting serious about your mission. Or you’re going to go out of business.
I think Don has a point… the status quo for churches in your community may be changing. I know that Don’s remarks will probably spark alot of controversy… but before you start tapping on your comment keys, consider what he’s saying. He’s saying (not to put words in his mouth) that competition may be coming to your area. My thought is… is that such a bad thing? If more people are coming to Christ in your community, is that a bad thing? If another church moves in across town and causes your church (and others) to make changes so that your communities’churches are more effective; aren’t there really two (or more) more effective churches in your community rather than one that isn’t effective?
Isn’t that ultimately great for the Kingdom?
What are your thoughts...?
Todd- - - - - - - - - -