Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Learning from Google and Others

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?

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Do the laws of physics apply to the church? Of course they do, for while the church may work to lead people to a metaphysical place, the church itself is a physical body, and thus is governed by those laws of science. Why then would we expect that rules that effect business or politics or communication between people not to apply? Adaptation is certainly needed, for the cases are not one-to-one, but the larger ideas remain valid for those in church ministry regardless.