Mass Market churches

Companies that are built around mass marketing develop their products accordingly.  These companies round the edges, smooth out the differentiating features, and try to make products that are bland enough for the masses.  These companies make spicy foods less spicy, and they make insanely great service a little less great (and a little cheaper). – Seth Godin, Purple Cow, 55

Seth Godin, above, is looking at businesses that are trying to have mass appeal.  The way that companies have tried to achieve their mass appeal is by trying to make their products (and services) appeal to everybody.

And in the process, they’ve made their products (and services) appeal to nobody.

And the same things can happen in our churches.  We can try to please more and more people, changing and adding each time another group of people comes along.  Accommodating more and more desires, saying, “Yes” to more and more ideas, and spreading the church staff and church body so thin that effectiveness and excellency go right out the door.  The more you juggle, the more likely you are to drop a ball.  Or all of them.

Instead of that, figure out what God’s calling you as a church to do and be…and go do that.  You can’t accommodate all styles of worship.  Or all styles of small groups (community groups, cell groups, Sunday School, discipleship classes, etc.).  Or all styles of teaching.  Or all of the truly good ideas that come along.

Simplifying is one of the most difficult tasks that an organization can do.  And it’s also one of the most important.

People want to be led.  And God’s called you to do just that.  Figure out what you, as a church, value the most, and start doing that.

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Ben Reed is the small groups pastor at Long Hollow, a multi-site church in the Nashville, TN, area. He holds an Mdiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ben is also an avid coffee drinker and CrossFitter, but not at the same time. Catch up with Ben at In his book, "Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint," he helps leaders through the process of putting a small group ministry together and creating a place where people belong so they can become.