My last entry introduced the article Dan Mulhall and I contributed to the latest (and last) issue of Church magazine, in which we apply the rules Jeff Jarvis developed in "What Would Google Do?" to the Church. A question that seems to be unspoken in the article and in conversations with pastoral leaders in the last few months is, "Is there any value or potential benefit in listening to the experience of Google, Gallup, or any other business? We're talking Church, not business. We think theologically, not in terms of 'the bottom line." Or as one person noted recently, "we're talking souls, not sales."
Sure, our bottom line is different from that of a business. Still, we have much to learn from those who observe the way people respond to organizations, whether for-profit or for-faith. We don't throw theology out the door, but we do allow learning from contemporary research and observation in the window, to inform our dialogue as we seek beneficial pastoral practice.
What do you think?