Why Your Church Should Not Try to Compete

Dr. Randy White

There’s a very simple fact in life. If you want a hamburger for lunch, don’t go to Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A doesn’t even apologize about this. If you want a hamburger, they want you to go somewhere else. They do not even give the slightest attempt to appease you. They don’t sell a shred of beef in any of their more than 1,850 locations. Not even a morsel. Not even an ounce. Not even beef bouillon. Chick-fil-A serves the chicken market, and the chicken market alone.

If Pastors ran the chain, they might point out that there is a huge beef market in the USA. Everyone knows that the beef association has spent a lot of money to convince us, “beef, it’s what’s for dinner.” The fact is, in our culture,  many people just want a good old-fashioned juicy burger. As a burger lover, i’ve never been offended by Chick-fil-A’s lack of beef.

Chick-fil-A realizes all that, and more, but they still just serve chicken. Chicken is what they do. Chicken is what they know. People go to Chick-fil-A for chicken.

Local churches, on the other hand, seem to think that they have to serve chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, and even vegetarian. And, since beef eaters are such a huge portion of the market, we will never be a growing church if we don’t serve beef and serve it well.  So, on the church menu, the Pastor thinks his church needs the coolest music on the planet (with requisite lighting because music can’t stand on its own anymore), the best parking in the neighborhood (with greeters, of course, because people don’t feel loved if someone didn’t wave at them when they drove in the parking lot….everyone knows this), the slickest preschool area in town (because two-year olds make the family decisions), and the hippest pastor (who would never be able to dress like that in a professional job).

Pastor, can I propose that you just figure out what you do, and be known for that? Eventually, people will go to your church for that reason. Those people who are not interested in what you do will not join your church, and that will be okay. You will have freed yourself from chasing the wind.

People attend our church for a fundamentalist position on Scripture, a dispensational hermeneutic and its full understanding of grace, and in-depth preaching and teaching of the Word. That’s our beef.

And if someone wants chicken, they’ll have to go to Chick-fil-A.

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