Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A tension in my head...

...between aiming in my ministry at the crowds or at the few. This book title intrigues me: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the many are smarter than the few and how collective wisdom shapes business, economies, societies and nations. There's an undercurrent to the twentysomething generation that seems to insist that everything be niche (of course, MY niche, please), and that if an organization (or church) targets the masses that there are "selling out." And yet, shouldn't I be aiming at the largest target possible? I know that some will say, "churches shouldn't be targeting anyone," but I just don't buy it. Whether you're intentional or not, you target someone by how you dress, what time you meet, the music you play, etc. There is no neutral.

3 comments:

JGanschow said...

I believe that by ministering to twentysomethings, you are already targeting a niche. I think that to break it down even further to cater to specific groups (married, college students, etc) is an unrealistic expectation. Your ministry should cover the bigger picture-and it does!

mitchell said...

I had to think about that for a minute. I think in most people's eyes appealing to the masses, in its self, is not selling out. Selling out has to include appealing to the masses purely for personal gain.
A band with a hit song performing at packed venues has not sold out. When their songs are played in American Express commercials it is a sell out (e.g. Michael Jordan is immensely popular for good reason, but sold out when he started doing Fruit of the Loom commercials).
Many christian bands avoid the temptation by giving away a majority of their profits and living their pre-fame lifestyle. For a pastor, I agree that it makes sense to target a larger audience. It is selling out when you promote yourself more than your work.

ckd said...

Great thoughts Ryan!
I guess the struggle sometimes, is distinguishing between what is promoting my ministry and what is promoting me. It gets cloudy in my head sometimes.