- Praise God
- Please be praying...
- What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Final Thoughts: If you don't pass the people test, nothing else matters
- What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Part 3: Marketing is about People
- What Every Church Needs To Know about Marketing: Part 2: Marketing is Everything
- Getting Your Current Members to Invite Friends
- Through the eyes of a visitor
- Encouraging progress
- Please be praying
- Bootstrap Faith
- Know Our Hearts?
- Seldom Read But Always Evaluated
- Creating an Experience
- The Bond Between Music and Design
- The Church Exposed
- The Value Principle
- The Nike Effect: Part II
- The Nike Effect: Part I
- Starting New This New Year
- Christmas Revelation from Charlie Brown
- The Video: Speaking Starbucksian
- And The Winners Are...
- The Video: A Treasure Hunt
- The Video: We're Not Like That Church Down The Street
- The Video: Signs of Neediness
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- The Video: The Culture Crime
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- The Video: The purpose of the video.
- What If Starbucks Marketed Like the Church? A Parable.
- re-Branding on Momentum
This is the third installment in The Stadium Principle. Let’s finish this off.
After many years of playing, usually someone with great talent develops—from little league to college to the big leagues. Picture a rising star with me. He’s like a Nolan Ryan or a Roger Clemens. He’s Randy Johnson. Ok, imagine it’s the bottom of the ninth inning at game seven of the World Series. We’re talking intense—the President of the United States threw out the first pitch, Grammy-award winner sang the national anthem like you’ve never heard it before, the game has been back and forth, back and forth. Bottom of the ninth and everything is on the line. Randy’s on the pitcher’s mound and it’s the moment of a lifetime for him. All of the years or little league and college ball have built up to this. Randy has lived baseball—eaten, drunk, and slept baseball. His friends love the game and they love how he plays the game. Bottom of the ninth—it’s a full count, two outs, one strike and we win. People are tuned in around the world watching this.
Do you think Randy Johnson, at this moment, remembers what it feels like to not care about baseball? Do you think he’d be able to relate to someone who has never been to a game at this moment? Just like Randy, do you think pastors who have lived church—eaten, drunk, and slept church—with friends who love God and admire them…do you think they remember what it’s like to be a stranger to church and to not know God? Do you think most pastors routinely remember what it’s like to hear about Jesus for the first time? It is almost counterintuitive. After all, as church leaders, we spend most of our time with church folk.
I say this in prayer that we never forget what is going on in the hearts and minds of those people in the upper deck. Those are the most overlooked and least connected with. It’s easy to pitch for the lower deck—they are the cheers we hear the loudest. A good pitcher learns how to make the game great for people at all levels of the stadium. God give us a heart for the upper decker and allow us to never forget the first time we heard the crack of the bat.
© Richard L. Reising
I come from a "baseball family" and married a man who thinks sports are boring and pointless, so I've really enjoyed the series and the metaphor!
An interesting Part IV, though maybe unrelated to your point, would be about when Randy throws that last pitch and Derek Lee hits it out of the park and they lose... when the "pro" minister gives it his/her best, and it just doesn't work, you know?
I guess that would probably be a topic for a different blog, but that was what I found myself thinking about.
Anyway, love the blog idea, and the church-of-starbucks video.
Posted on Fri, Nov 7, 2008 @ 10:15 AM CST
The staff of my church, of which I'm the youth pastor, take a sunday twice a year and attend another church for worship. The point is to allow us to worship on a sunday in a different context (we're encouraged to not attend another church of our denomination, or even a family member's church), as well as to remember what it's like walking into a church that is unfamiliar so as to help those who enter our church in very much the same way. I'll say, it's a strange, unsettling feeling to feel as though you are back in the upper deck or at least not on the field. A good experience though, one I'd recommend to any pastor/church board.
Posted on Fri, Nov 7, 2008 @ 10:37 PM CST
Great. Going to go buy your book. Love baseball and love the memories of playing. Also have enjoyed the insight you shared in your other articles. I wanted it to be easier, didn't want to have to reach out and find the target. Easier to use a shotgun than a rifle.(although I've yet to shoot a bird or a deer in the hunting days of my life) Anyway wanted to say good job and keep up the good work, I'll try to get the leadership team to read your blog and buy your book. Blessings Dan
Posted on Sat, Jun 12, 2010 @ 12:44 PM CST