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Oct 27

A Pastor's Prescription for More Golf...

Oct 27
Oct 27

Following up on my last post, when you’re hanging with the masses, one thing you should keep in mind: they aren’t going to clearly say profound things about what drives them. People don’t normally talk in a straightforward manner about the real, deep-rooted issues that actually control their decisions about life or church—aka what they are really thinking. You’ve got to learn to interpret what you do get from them. The Mountain Dew Mandate (mingling with the masses) can be broken down into the following examples:

1. Your church normally reaches a lower-middle class crowd (good people, unpretentious, but just not the "Joneses") but many middle to upper-middle class people are moving into the community and you feel that God has called you to reach them. Mingling with the masses might just be having your leadership go out and play more golf. I’m serious! Of course they shouldn’t go out as a group together, but individually spending time with members of that crowd in a place where they are found to be comfortable. You want the country club group? You have to go where they are in order to learn from them. You might feel a little weird and awkward at first, but over time, you’ll feel more comfortable and gain much insight. If you listen long enough, they will reveal how to reach them.
2. Your church is mostly middle class and you really would like to be more effective in reaching a much lower class part of your area. Spending time with the masses might mean a couple of trips to the unemployment office. There you could observe and gain insight into their experience and viewpoint. Some other options could be spending time at stores you don’t normally go to. When you’ve done all of that, you’ll have an understanding of their mind-set and your target can be geared toward connecting with them.

This research is valuable in the concept of becoming as one to win one. You will gain more understanding by watching them in their element than you could by reading about them or asking them directly. You’ll understand their underlying struggles and victories. Mountain Dew didn’t read the book about their target audience—they wrote it from experience.

© Richard L. Reising


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Amazing video & sobering reality... dang, we're so goofy sometimes! Is this video free to use? let me know.


Posted on Mon, Nov 3, 2008 @ 10:24 PM CST


Sweet blog. The content you are covering is great and the video is awesome.

Posted on Thu, Nov 6, 2008 @ 9:13 AM CST

Brotha from another motha

Right on... give us more

Posted on Thu, Nov 6, 2008 @ 4:30 PM CST

Sarah Dylan Breuer

Great video!

I'm a bit puzzled, though, by the suggestion to hang out at the unemployment office to gain insight into the experiences and views. People would MUCH rather be employed, and if I were there as a social services client, I would find it embarrassing -- if not downright creepy -- if there were some clean-cut, upper-middle-class guy who was clearly neither an employee nor a client there, but who was standing around trying to start conversations and/or eavesdropping. I'd also feel pretty creeped-out by someone doing the same at stores in my neighborhood. Most likely, I'd think the guy was trying to hit on me or sell me something -- and the latter is true, isn't it?

Personally, if I were an upper-middle-class pastor and I wanted to better know what poorer people in the area thought and felt, the first thing I would do would be to make an appointment with a pastor who serves well the community I want to get to know. I'd listen to that pastor, and would try to see whether there were areas in which our communities' needs overlapped, and our congregations could work together with others in the area as full partners (not "how can my church help you poor people," but "how can we work side by side?"). When it seemed appropriate, I'd ask the pastor whether there were others in the area I should get to know, and would ask for an introduction.

That would give me, the pastor, the chance to know and be in a relationship of mutual support rather than competition with my colleagues in the area -- plus it would be very likely to generate opportunities to do the same, making a real difference in our communities.

Of course, this won't tell me immediately how I can get "those people" to join my congregation. But if there are congregations led by people who are a part of the population they're serving and/or who are experienced in serving that community or similar ones, why should I want or need people from that community to join my church rather than theirs?

I'm assuming, of course, that there is one congregation or more already in the area serving neighborhoods where unemployement is higher. But isn't that the case, generally?

Among the many differences between marketing and evangelism is that in marketing, people from other brands within my category (e.g., you sell Pepsi, I sell Bubble Fizz) are competitors, and I want and need to persuade as many people as possible to drink MY product. As a result, I'm only getting to know people so that I can get them to drink Bubble Fizz.

In evangelism, on the other hand, we're not just trying to get people to come to our congregation. Jesus didn't say we should make churchgoers, let alone members of our congregation. He said we should make disciples. Partnering with other congregations to get to know one another might not immediately increase my average Sunday attendance or theirs, but it's building up the unity of the Body of Christ, undermining racism and classism in the process, and it's helping our congregations bear witness in our communities to God's love and justice.

Wouldn't that be Good News for my congregation, those in the other congregation(s), AND the communities in which we live? Sounds like evangelism to me!

Posted on Fri, Nov 7, 2008 @ 6:57 AM CST

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