Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The evangelical church as a corporation?

In the latest BusinessWeek Online edition, the lead article is on the booming evangelical church in America.
The premise is that the evangelicals' success is a product of their early adoption of modern entrepreneurial practices in relation to their competitors. It delves into the creation of megachurches and the movement to create a church 'brand' amongst these successful church leaders.
At one point, the authors state:

"...evangelicalism's theological flexibility gives it the freedom to adapt to contemporary culture."

"Evangelicals' eager embrace of corporate-style growth strategies is giving them a tremendous advantage in the battle for religious market share."

This is what the authors miss, I believe. I don't think that all the leaders cited in the article are out for only their own personal or church's gain. I think that they are in it as a new form of evangelism. They are not out to be the biggest church on the block, but to win new people to Christianity. If they are successful doing that, their church would appear successful. That is a byproduct and not a goal.
In reality, is there another possible driving force behind the relative success of evangelical churches? Could it be that they speak the truth and that there is a divine force behind their growth?

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