Either no one was brave enough to comment on my last post or I have lost all my readers during my 40 day Spiritual Renewal. It has been strange that I have gone from blogging everyday to only 11 times in 37 days. I have probably looked at my stats even less than that. I believe that I will get back to more consistent posting when the 40 days is over but I really believe that God has removed blogging from my mind during this time so that I will focus more on listening to Him.
The 40 day period will be over Thursday night. Maybe I will be able to share some about what I have learned or experienced after that.
Anyway, about the church learning from Microsoft blog.
I have heard lots of people say that they hate to hear the church taking anything from the business world. I am sure that sentiment becomes even stronger when we look at really large powerful companies. After all, business is all about profit. When the church becomes about profit, we have sold out, right? Of course. Material profit should never be the motive of the church.
We can still make some comparisons though. If Microsoft is getting new customers and keeping them, we can compare that to the church reaching new people with the gospel message and incorporating them into the ministry of the church. The problem for most people is that since the business is focused on profit that the have different motives that lead to their success.
It seems to me that God created the natural world and that all truth is God's truth. Most would not argue that sin brings pleasure for a while but in the end leads to destruction. The same would probably be true of business. There are businesses that operate illegally or immorally and succeed for a while, but just look at companies like Enron and you can see that even in the business world you cannot continue to succeed outside of God's natural law. Babylon was a great world power for a long time but they fell. Egypt and Rome were great world powers but they fell. Many businesses have come and gone from unethical practices.
I don't believe that the church should try to be like the business world, but there are things that we can learn from some business practices. Unfortunately, we tend to do much of what we do based on tradition. Businesses can't do that or they will die. They have to find ways to interact with modern culture to continue to reach new generations of people. Paul had the same problem. His tradition meant following the Jewish ceremonial laws. When God sent him to the pagan world to preach the gospel he had to find ways to preach that gospel message in a way that non-Jews could understand. The church today faces the same problem.
When we in the church find practices in the business world that seem to be effective at reaching new customers or developing leaders we should take note. It's not that churches need to be more like businesses, but some businesses are better at some of God's principals than some churches. (ouch. that hurt!)