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Let's Stop Blaming God for Our Failures

Maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much of my career working in advertising and marketing, but after a Christian event where nobody shows up, when I hear the phrase, “Well, the people that needed to be here were here,” it sure seems to me like an excuse. We hear it all the time when only a handful of people show up to an event: “Well, only 6 people came, but I believe those were the people God wanted here.”

Really? I don’t want to sound harsh and ungodly here, but anytime something good happens, I want as many to show up as possible. Of course I want those who were meant to come show up, but why shouldn’t that be a huge number?

But we’re so used to framing our practical failures in spiritual terms, it’s just easier to blame God than our poor planning, lousy marketing, and boring advertising.

How about this: Let’s pray the right people show up, but let’s do our best to get everybody possible at the event. Then if no one shows up, instead of deflecting to God, let’s take a hard look at our strategy, our creativity, and our marketing.

Of course let’s pray that God blesses everything we do. But let’s cut the pretentious garbage about God approving our failures, and hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Any objections?

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Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles (CookeMediaGroup.com) where his team helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively through media. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."