Selling out the Church
“Selling out the Church” is a protest against the market-driven shape which society has given to the modern church. The authors defend the thesis that the form in which the gospel is manifested molds the content of its message. The main focus is on the aggressive use of marketing principles to advance the vision of the church without taking into consideration all negative effects that may follow because of it.
They contend the church marketing principles articulated by Kotler claiming that the purpose of the church is to be a sign of the future Kingdom and the new creation which God is bringing into being. The marketing principles actively oppose this purpose of the Christian church as they emphasize on making the church more attractive to the eventual “customers.”
These strategies wrongly accent on attracting people to the Christian community through offering them to meet their apparent needs and thus give them proper reasons for being churchgoers. This way the target of the church becomes the consumer as the church is expected to provide the proper products. The problem is that the Christian faith does not follow “the logic of self interested exchanges.”
The main problem is that when the church acts as just another manufacturer of hopes, it is no longer able to act as directed by God. The actual truth is that the world no longer expects the church to act according to its calling but rather according the present market needs. Meeting the worlds expectation means the church mission is redefined to whether or not a “customer” would keep his/her business with the church.
The importance of the book is its presentation of how any cultural formation introduced into the church, can deform its message and form a corrupted vision, which will reflect negatively on its future development.