Thursday, April 30, 2009


Seth Godin is my favorite marketing blogger. His ideas shape the bleeding edge of social marketing and social media today.

This article from today's blog really hit me. Keep in mind he's talking about businesses and marketing, but the application to the Body of Christ is also very relevant:

Infinity--they keep making more of it
by Seth Godin

If you had a little business in a little town, there was a natural limit to your growth. You hit a limit on strangers (no people left to pitch), some became friends, some became customers and you then went delivered as much as you could to this core audience. Every day wasn't spent trying to get bigger.

There's no limit now. No limit to how many clicks, readers, followers and friends you can acquire.

I don't think this new mindset is better. It shortchanges the customers you have now (screw them, if they can't take a joke, we'll just replace them!) and worse, it means you're never done. Instead of getting better, you focus obsessively on getting bigger.

You're at a conference, talking to someone who matters to you. Over their shoulder, you see a new, bigger, better networking possibility. So you scamper away. It's about getting bigger.

Compared to what? You're never going to be the biggest, so it seems like being better is a reasonable alternative.

The problem with getting bigger is that getting bigger costs you. Not just in time and money, but in focus and standards and principles. Moving your way to the biggest part of the curve means appealing to an ever broader audience, becoming (by definition) more average.

More, more, more is rarely the mantra of a successful person.

There are certainly some businesses and some projects that don't work unless they're huge, but in your case, I'm not sure that's true. Big enough is big enough, biggest isn't necessary.

What I love about this article by Godin is the paragraph about how "growing bigger costs you, not just in time and money but in focus and standards and principles"

As our house church is growing; in both quality and quantity- the temptation is to remove the obstacles to this numeric growth and continue the sprawling of our Body. However, the health of our Body is adversely affected by our "weight gain" (as it were).

If we were to continue growing larger (gaining weight) we would eventually have to compromise our core value of giving 100% of our offering to the poor. We'd also have to give up our value on transparency, community, and making disciples because as already know, once a group starts getting to be 50 or 100 or 200 people the ability of that group to really know and interact and love one another deeply diminishes or vanishes completely. Soon the focus is only on getting larger and the sea of people become strangers to us.

What our Body needs is to give birth to a new Body of Believers so that more churches can be established in the community, more new people can find a safe place to be themselves and enter the fellowship of Christ, and so that we ourselves can stretch and grow in our practice of making disciples.

I'm praying that we can hear God's voice and step out to plant new churches as He leads us. I am not going to manufacture this. I am not going to set a date or coerce people to plant churches in their homes. Instead, I am going to continue to pray that God would lead us and that Jesus would be allowed to reign as the head of our church.


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