I found this link on yahoo about megachurches and how they are copying marketing techniques to win the world.
Yahoo! Finance – All Business – God, Inc.
It shouldn’t be shocking to see what is going on as the bible predicted this almost 2000 years ago:
II Timothy 4
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Here are some excerpts from the article that are noteworthy:
Osteen’s flourishing Lakewood enterprise brought in $55 million in contributions last year, four times the 1999 amount, church officials say. Flush with success, Osteen is laying out $90 million to transform the massive Compaq Center in downtown Houston — former home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets — into a church that will seat 16,000, complete with a high-tech stage for his TV shows and Sunday School for 5,000 children. After it opens in July, he predicts weekend attendance will rocket to 100,000. Says Osteen: “Other churches have not kept up, and they lose people by not changing with the times.”
$90 million for a church. Just wow.
So successful are some evangelicals that they’re opening up branches like so many new Home Depots (NYSE: HD – News) or Subways. This year, the 16.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention plans to “plant” 1,800 new churches using by-the-book niche-marketing tactics. “We have cowboy churches for people working on ranches, country music churches, even several motorcycle churches aimed at bikers,” says Martin King, a spokesman for the Southern Baptists’ North American Mission Board.
I think they are taking the “all things to all men” grossly out of context. Does this mean we are going to have churches aimed at strippers?
Many evangelicals say they’re just trying to satisfy demands not met by traditional churches. Craig Groeschel, who launched Life Church in Edmond, Okla., in 1996, started out doing market research with non-churchgoers in the area — and got an earful. “They said churches were full of hypocrites and were boring,” he recalls. So he designed Life Church to counter those preconceptions, with lively, multimedia-filled services in a setting that’s something between a rock concert and a coffee shop.
I see they overcame the boring part with multimeda-filled services but what about the hypocrisy? If it is like most “purpose driven, makes me feel good and doesn’t condemn sin” churches, they only focus on positive message and don’t preach against sin so there is absolutely nothing to be hypocritical about!
Hybel’s consumer-driven approach is evident at Willow Creek, where he shunned stained glass, Bibles, or even a cross for the 7,200-seat, $72 million sanctuary he recently built. The reason? Market research suggested that such traditional symbols would scare away non-churchgoers.
So adept at the sell are some evangelicals that it can be difficult to distinguish between their religious aims and the secular style they mimic. Last December, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Tex., staged a spectacular Christmas festival, including a 500-person choir, that attracted 70,000 people even though the cheapest ticket was $20. Throughout the year, some 16,000 people take part in its sports program, which uses eight playing fields and six gyms on its $100 million, 140-acre campus. The teams, coached by church members, bring in converts, many of them children, says Executive Pastor Mike Buster.