I’m Not Sure How I Feel About This

Michael Hyatt recently blogged on the topic of Tribe Building – this idea that marketing is not as important as a community that believes passionately in your product.

To be honest, I have never been a big fan of marketing in the church in the first place. But I am also a bit hesitant to think of building community as a method of growing the tribe. It seems kind of repetitive to me – create a tribe to build the tribe? Which comes first? The product or the tribe?

The examples Hyatt cites built their tribes not by building a tribe but by having a superior product. The product itself united the tribe, and then once there was a tribe, they became rabid supporters of the product.

In the church, we are not in the business of building tribes. We are to commit ourselves to the glory of Christ. As he draws men and women to himself through us, they will in turn be used to draw other men and women to him through them. In my thinking, building the tribe is not the glory of God. The glory of God will build the tribe.

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “I’m Not Sure How I Feel About This”

  1. Agree. Just stick to the Gospel. Width may result from depth, but we just need to focus on depth. “Make disciples” and leave the converts up to God (He’s good like that).

  2. I think that there is a place for marketing in the sense that it reflects the Lord and should do so well… i.e. not having a mimeographed literature in this day and age. As far as building community to build the community, I think that some churches today just focus on numbers and campaigns etc… and don’t really encourage community… however, there are churches that just focus on the social aspect of community and miss out on the Great Commission. I am finding (have not yet arrived) that in my church and life a Biblical balance is key. I think that many mistake extremism for passion. May we all just get back to the Bible.

  3. I think community is innate to the existence of a congregation that gathers in Christ’s name. I think the three words most commonly associated with a congregation reveal a biblical balance.

    1. Congregation literally means “the coming together of the flock” (from the Latin congregatio).
    2. The term church derives ultimately from the Greek κυριος or “lord” and means quite literally “Lord’s House.” (It is worth noting that a house in both Greek and Roman culture was most often used to refer to not the building but the family of the person who built the place.
    3. The Greek term for church, εκκλησεια, which was an assembly for a specific purpose.

    I use the three words as a statement of convenience – a way to understand the various ways the church is treated in the Scriptures. The Church is a tribe in a sense, but this identity needs to be balanced with the understanding that is not simply an affinity group. It is the Lord’s House, assembled for a reason. The master of the house can add to the house as he chooses, but the additions are up to him – not up to our marketing gurus.

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