This new church is being propagated by bright, young, talented ministers who have certain skills. They find a part of the city that best suits them. They have developed a formula which states you can go into any town or city; find out what the non church goers want and apply the formula and within a short time you can raise a church up instantaneously.
After you have gathered a handful of people, you keep interviewing them to find out what they want; then you design your message to help people cope with their needs. The program you design is intended to make the church comfortable and friendly for all who wish to attend.
The pastor is the CEO, and it becomes a business. They make no bones about it: They are following Madison Avenue tactics and can make a success of it. Their formula for quick church growth is cleverly packaged and is being sold especially to young ministers—those who want to be a part of the big boys and what’s happening on a fast track. They want it to happen quickly.
I know a number of struggling pastors who have worked for years and haven’t seen the kind of growth they want to see. A young man with an accommodating gospel moves into town and within a very short time has hundreds attending church. People are flocking there because there is entertainment; it’s a gospel of fun. I’ve been in some of them. It’s the gospel of entertainment that has no conviction whatsoever. There is very little in their gospel that speaks to sinners of repentance, brokenness, and cross-bearing. A Christ is preached, Jesus’ name is mentioned, but it’s another gospel, another Jesus…the new religion in town is moralistic therapeutic deism with a dash of scripture thrown in for good measure.
I have made this confession a few times and have heard it many times from others in the ministry, “I was that close to being sucked in because I fasted and prayed and didn’t see the growth I wanted to see, and I saw these others grow and I almost sold out to the consumer church model.”
“This church is a corporation, its outreach is marketing, its worship is entertainment, and its god is commodity.” -Skye Jethani, from The Divine Commodity p.11