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8/10/2006

TELL THIS FIRST

After yesterday's post (Feelings) my brain went a different direction from the commentors. They seemed largely concerned with the "marketing culture" and how it's "evil" and "foolish" and what not. All good thoughts. Just not where my brain went with all this. Admittedly, I drank pee and ate roaches as a child so your brain's probably in better working condition but...

LEARNING FROM MY MISTAKES:
My former label and good friends taught me a lot about marketing. They're good at it. In my almost six years there I worked with four heads of marketing and learned from them all. All of them had a different strategy.

  • My first record's bio, crafted by a marketer, started this way: "Shaun Groves has the look and swagger of a rock star." I never liked that line. It's not true. And I now wonder if the person who wants to feel something rock stars make them feel isn't listening to Christian radio or shopping at LifeWay. And those are the places that heard this message most.

  • My second record bio focussed instead on the awards and accomplishments of the first record. I was marketed as the guy who wrote a hit song...with a new hair cut. People who want to feel in step with the herd bought my second record (if they knew about it) so they wouldn't feel left out. But again this isn't who I truly am. So at this point in my career, IF the message/story from the marketers was being heard by you you'd think I was a rock star who was successful. Not too compelling.

    The truth is of course the best story and what we should have told first. (We didn't know it then.) People can smell marketing when it's a lie. Good marketing, Seth says, is "authentic."

  • We told the truth for record three. The person who wrote the bio this time was a friend at the label who knew me well. It showed. She got it right..."More than a musician"..."a communicator, a man full of messages and ideas that he hopes to translate through a variety of media." "A writer, teacher, preacher, father, husband." Well done. True.

    Problem was the truth came five years too late. The lies were already out there and believed. The original message stuck: Career focussed, successful, "rock star" on Adult Contemporary radio with good hair. (OK, so it's not ALL a lie.)

    THE LIE STICKS:
    When I show up for interviews the conversation is about songs and looks and past successes and that hit of mine years ago and accomplishments and career ambitions and... The media has stopped discovering who I really am because they think they know. We told them five years ago. It's our fault - mine too.

    Which brings me to applying the lessons learned from Seth and my own mistakes today.

    RELATIONSHIPS:
    Why did a friend of mine divorce his wife a few years back? Well, he said she wasn't the person he married. And he was right. The person she SAID she was, that she PRETENDED to be when they dated wasn't the person she really was. The lie couldn't be told forever and he discovered the truth. he wanted her to always be his first impression. And her first impression was that of a domestic goddess who loved to have sex very often and laughed at his every joke. What a lie.

    CHURCH:
    I wonder whether words we use in churches like "traditional" and "relevant" and "contemporary" and "emergent" and "accessible" and "upbeat" are really any different in purpose and power from words used on Madison Avenue like "hand-crafted" and "imported" and "value" and "new" and "limited-edition." I wonder if they tell the whole truth about us and whether they attract the kind of "customers" the whole truth would.

    Pastors lament the lack of volunteerism and tithing in their church. They don't understand why their people fight about silly things like music preferences or the color of carpet being installed in the new Childrens building. And then I go to their web sites and see the story they told to sell their church (and their God) to people. Someone in their marketing department or behind the pulpit is telling the consumer (the member) that the church is a place to be comfortable, have fun and be served, to be cool (relevant) and trendy (cutting edge) and hear music (passionate worship). The consumer believes this story, grabs a seat and enjoys the show while the preschool department pays workers to watch kids since the church member/consumer won't.

    Why would she, liar? Her actions are in line with the story you told her. Don't get angry now.

    SETH SAYS, BUT I SAY:
    Seth says this can't be undone, by the way. He says once the impression is made, once the expectation is set, once the story is told, it's in stone. I hope he's wrong. His one bit of advice on trying to change the original impression is to figure out what the truth is, who you are. Be who you are as a church, a musician, a tube of toothpaste starting now. Get that straight (I'm a teacher.) THEN tell that story to people who want or need who you are (My people: People who feel like their improving themselves and the world by learning. People who don't like how things are and want better. People who are rethinking what they believe. People who like to ask why.)

    The truth is the best story we have. Tell this first.



    Buy All Marketers Are Liars for more on truth and lies and marketing.
  • 42 Comments:

    Blogger Loren said...

    I wonder what marketing looked like in the first century church?

    Is it possible to separate church and marketing?

    I wonder if I(we) followed more of those commandments, authentically would marketing become obsolete?

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Shaun Groves said...

    If you define marketing as explaining what something is and why it's worth anything then, no, I don't think you can separate it from anything. The early church marketed itself at one point by repainting popular pagan images with Jesus as the main character instead of the false god. That's a little sleezy don't you think? That'd be like painting Jesus sitting in the Buddha position or with lots of arms like Vishnu the Hindu god. Weird.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

    It was interesting Shaun the first time meeting you. You were somewhat normal (I think). I was shocked! You drove your home vehicle to your job! You only had one other person working for you (Brian) and I was thinking "Okay he's not exactly Michael W. Smith but I see potential." So I stuck with you. Then I got to know you better. You changed my mind. I found out first hand you are a teacher. Sometimes the lessons hurt but I learn from you. I've said it before and I don't think I'll ever stop saying it when I talk about you to other people that you're totally inspiring! To someone who doesn't get inspired easily that's saying something. I used to listen to you because I figured you deserved that respect since you had the balls to be in the music business. I listen to what you say now because I'm afraid I'll miss something important or funny or something that'll make me go "Hum never thought about it THAT way before."
    And by the way you're not such a wussy if you actually have the guts to write how you feel on your Shlog considering how many people visit and more than likely a lot of them church folk. So it'll get out there to the other pastors or whoever. What Shaun Groves really thinks...course then someone wonders why you didn't just say that in the first place.
    Oh and another thing I bought Twilight not for the bio. I bought the album because you actually put a second one out. I was impressed. I didn't buy the first album because everyone else LOVED "Welcome Home" and since every one LOVED "Welcome Home" I was gonna HATE "Welcome Home". It took me a year and 1/2 to finally buy Invitation to Eavesdrop. To tell you the truth still not hooked on ITE but still have undying LOVE for Twilight and so does my mom. So that's something to smile about. That shirt you love so much rings true. My mom thinks you're cool!!

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Loren said...

    a better prose to my last question:

    If I truly loved my neighbor would I have to mail them postcards every month to invite them to church?

    (Punching myself in the gut)

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Shaun Groves said...

    All this feeling based marketing is used to get us to use and buy things that are not needs. Is faith a need? Church? God?

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Brody Harper said...

    no.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Brody Harper said...

    except the God part.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Loren said...

    I've heard Secular scientist argue that the human psyche benefits from a belief system (religion)

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Amy said...

    Shaun, I met you when you toured with Bebo Norman in Austin, TX. That was the first time I'd ever heard anything about this Shaun Groves guy from Waco, TX. And, of course, the first thing I thought was, "wow, he's from WACO!!!" I'm a Texan, and I really liked the way you interacted with the audience. In that concert, you were real to me. You were a normal person, AND you were lucky enough to be a Christian Musician. I was waiting after the show to meet Bebo, and you were hanging out at the back of the auditorium as well talking to people. I was like, well I really liked his music, maybe I'll buy the CD. Then, I got you to autograph it and talked to you, and you confirmed my thoughts during the concert. You were genuine. So, all that marketing stuff didn't affect me because I never got any of it. I think that's on of the reason I enjoy your music and Shlog so much is because I feel like I know who you are in real life. Not who you are as a musician or who you are as a performer, but who YOU REALLY ARE. Not sure if the message is getting across. I hope so.

    On the other hand, I can see how the way you were marketed could hurt your "image." Everyone in entertainment is overly scrutinized, and I think in the Christian music industry this happens even more frequently. Sometimes people are more critical because you're supposed to be this Christian, who's always positive, etc. I think that is BS. A Christian musician should be as real as the rest of us. I enjoy reading yours and Andrew Osenga's blogs because it makes me feel like I know you guys. I know what your thoughts are, etc.

    OK, I'm rambling, but I really think you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. And, I second all that mustard packet pelter said as well.
    Amy Roch (thought I'd sign my real name, since there's a bunch of Amy's who comment here)

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Loren said...

    This spurred me to pull out an old book, very interesting to read something like "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs"

    on pure Physical needs: food, shelter, sex, there doesn't seem to be much God there, but I am reminded of very symbolic statements, I am the bread of life, Living water, you will not thirst again, taking shelter in God, the imagery of marriage and the churches relation to God.

    His other points are rife with spiritual overtones.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Amy said...

    I think faith is a need. In fact, it's quite impossible to live without faith, similar to living without food. You can do it for awhile, but you die. I would say church can fit into Maslow's heirarchy of needs in the base level at love and belongingness and love needs and a relationship with God can fit in at esteem needs (and love and belongingness). So they can fulfill those functions but they don't have to. Family and friends or other areas could.

    thanks for bringing this up Shaun, it's a lot to chew on. I'm interested about the changing a first impression thing. I mean, after all, I often have first impressions of people that change over time. I want to check out his book.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Amy said...

    funny, Loren, you posted about Maslow's heirarchy of needs at the same time I did!

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Loren said...

    Sorry for my "boardwalking" ...here is a great quote about marketing and its connection to of all things LOVE, there was millions of dollars spent on this campaign, hundreds of (wo)manhours put into it:

    Dallas Willard sums it up:
    "Imagine a world where children sing 'I wish I were a [certain kind of] wiener. That is what I really want to be. For if I were [that certain kind of] wiener, everyone would be in love with me.' ... You are imagining our world. ... If we are willing to become a wiener to be loved, what else might we be willing to do?"

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Loren said...

    Amy I would wonder at this point

    "it's quite impossible to live without faith, similar to living without food. You can do it for awhile, but you die."

    if we put a christian and an athiest on an island with food shelter and, ummm, well I think they would both live.


    But there are so many nueances and variable we could be spitting hairs over this for a while...

    8/10/2006  
    Anonymous euphrony said...

    Vishnu-Jesus: too bizzar for me (but imagine the embrace of our Savior then!)

    I-wish-i-were-a-wiener-people: see above

    "Is faith a need? Church? God?": Yes, but do we/they know it? Are the needs drowned by the wants in life?

    Shaun, I've never met you in person and (unfortunately) never had the chance to see you in concert. I was drawn to Shlog because, in listening to your music, I could hear someone telling a story and weaving a picture of life the way it should be. This is the kind of music I love, that has meaning beyond a beat you can (or cannot) dance to. Marketing schmarketing - you give the clearest definition of yourself by being yourself in your music. The trick, of course, is to get people to hear that music . . .

    Music is something people always talk about with friends, almost a universal constant (try to picture a movie or play with no soundtrack; it's impossible) that creates moods and defines the moments of our lives. If you do this well, you could look like Quasimodo and act like the Marque de Sade and still sell your music (maybe a little extreme comparison). Do what you do best: teach the gospel in spoken word and lyric and build relationships (that's what Shlog is all about, right?). God will do the marketing for you.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Brody Harper said...

    I wonder, Shaun. Is this blog the real you? Several people on here continually say they love seeing the "real" side of you here. Is this part of your marketing? I am not saying that this isn't the "real you", but isn't a blog a perfect place to portray yourself as something that you want others to belive to be "real"? I have never started a blog simply for the reason of not being able to come up with something interesting enough to talk about. The "real me" just won't cut it. Are we all "shaun-sumers" and don't know it?

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Loren said...

    Shaun,
    I agree we can't seperate marketing from Christianity, so my question is (to everyone here): How do we "market" Christianity faithfully?

    I'd be interested if you people think that the talking point : "making disciples, not christians" applies here...

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger linn said...

    Shaun, it's interesting to hear your take on marketing.. Seth is right and so are you. Forget all the other stuff, the bottom line is the important part -- and that is It's gotta be real. Period. People DO smell a lie if they live anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. I make my living doing 'marketing' and there are some of us out here who simply tell the truth in quirky,jazzed up jabberwocky ways. We try not to insult intelligence. I do disagree with your being stuck with your original image.
    Are you not allowed to mature? People reinvent themselves all the time. So do churches because they have to, (and it's not always light and truth, sorry to say). The point is: It is one-on-one, eyeball to eyeball HIGH TOUCH that makes church either appealing or not. It's all about discipleship. And sooner or later, if you say you care but you don't really, it's going to catch up to you. And that means the numbers decline. And that means another reinvention. Keeps marketing people busy doesn't it?

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Amy said...

    Hi Loren,
    I guess I didn't mean faith in God, just faith. I mean there's an element of faith to all of life. Relationships etc. Sorry, I guess I should have been more clear about that.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Shaun Groves said...

    Good stuff.

    FYI. As I read Brody's comment - and I hate to spoil this for you Brody - I realized that you guys don't know him. Without knowing him, as I do since my kids play in his yard just about every day, his last comment might seem a little rude - like maybe he's saying I'm being fake here. He's not. It's sarcasm but with a really good point actually.

    I'm not intentionally fake here but of course I can't tell the whole truth either. For instance, when I talk about my former label I always feel the need to call them friends or say somethign kind about them. Why? Well, so you all won't think there's any bad blood between us - cuz there isn't. But that's fake of me. I mean, if I were talking to Brody in his yard and Rocketown came up I wouldn't follow their name with a compliment every time. Maybe careful is a better word than fake.

    I also don't tell you everything I do in life...because it's boring and sometimes embarrassing and would seriously change how some think of me. I don't blog about every book I read or movie I watch because my choices aren't always the right choices and even some of the good choices would be called bad by some folks.

    So, yea. I guess I'm marketing here. I'm choosing what to share and not to share based in part on what you'll think of me. It's an excellent point Brody makes really. And he knows me so he knows the blog isn't all of me.

    Whose is?

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger ks said...

    I also never even read the bios of those albums or cared about the way they looked (two of my favorite albums have the freakiest pictures possible of the musician on the front). i heard a couple songs on the radio that I liked and I bought the album. Then I bought the other ones because I liked the music and lyrics.

    I'm not certain that art marketing appeals in the same way marketing for other things does. I think it has to draw out something inside of us that was previously unnoticed, an appreciation or new thought. But I don't know. I think that the art itself is what draws the consumer in, and I think that art without feeling isn't truly art anyway.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Kathryn said...

    "First impressions are lasting impressions" --they may not be true, but yeah, they sure can persist.

    church and marketing. . blech. I don't even go there. I'm so sick of talking about 'church'!! I saw a CBC documentary last night: Aids in Zaire. . it chilled my blood. . the commentator had been volunteering in a local hospital - he had a brutal day - had seen too much and he looked into the camera and said "This place is fuc&*%, the social structure is completely broken down." My husband and I had been talking about church just prior to us watching this. I said to him, "After seeing this (documentary) the 'church discussion' was such 'b.s.'"

    yeah, the importance of church, i know. . blah.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger Brody Harper said...

    No spoiling at all, Shaun. I'm glad you realize that I am not a jerk.

    Everyone else that does think I am a jerk, I'm sorry. I like Shaun for the same reasons that are posted on here everyday. He is a great husband/father/musician/teacher/friend and backyard baseball pitcher. I was just throwing out "what if's" and seeing if there was a way to avoid marketing to the masses. I think not.

    8/10/2006  
    Blogger ks said...

    Is it possible that we experience and feel in different rhealms--spiritual, phsyical, and emotional--and therefore our "needs" that are addressed in church marketing are the physical and emotional, and less spiritual? Perhaps we don't feel our spiritual needs the same way we feel other needs. Maybe that's why Jesus was constnatly using physical things in metaphors to reveal himself to others--living water, bread of life, light of the world, etc. Wasn't he appealing to human emotion in His parables? I can just imagine some shepherd sitting there on a rock listening to the parable of the lost sheep and realizing that he himself was the lost sheep. Facts allow us to connect; emotions allow us to relate. And both are necessary and useful, but without one I'm not certain that a relationship is possible.

    8/10/2006  
    Anonymous Rich Kirkpatrick said...

    Most churches have no real idea of marketing, even if they might be doing some of it. If they do it, they are likely to do it poorly. (My favorite blog on this issue is www.ChurchMarketingSucks.com)

    Church history tells us that there have been complaints for about 2,000 years about worship. I, as a pastor, know exactly why people complain about simple things like the carpet and music and you name it. But, I will keep that a secret so I can write a book about it and sell it to the pastors that don't know. (Maybe I could then afford braces for my son or college?)

    8/10/2006  
    Anonymous Ryan G. said...

    Thanks for the blog Shaun. It really hit home.

    8/11/2006  
    Blogger Shaun Groves said...

    The "feeling" I'm speaking of is not emotion...most of the time. Seth does a better job explaining the idea of feelings based marketing than I ever will so I suggest buying the book. It's a quick read. Which made me feel smart. ; )

    SG

    8/11/2006  
    Blogger Loren said...

    Kathryn:

    Aids in Zaire is the churches' reponsibility, we are called to hospitality, feeding the hungry and our enemies, care for the needy, to live life together...
    To quote a pastor: "the local church is the hope of the world"

    I think a lot of it comes down to your world view as we've r4ead before: The amero-christian world view and this feeding our enemies stuff doesn't seem to mesh!?!

    8/11/2006  
    Anonymous Sonflower said...

    Shaun, your becoming a formable marketer....

    Welcome to the world of branding...if it can't be said in a soundbite or a 5 second glance at a billboard ...it's too complex to communicate...

    the difference between a marketer and an artist...hope you find a happy medium. ;-)

    8/11/2006  
    Blogger Cristy said...

    The first time I saw you, I really wasn't even intending to be at a concert. I was at the Indiana Christian Expo because my husband had a booth there. I decided to walk over to the stage while you were playing because I had heard of you, but didn't really know what you sang or anything. As I sat there and listened to you, MY first impression is that you are genuine, funny and down to earth in a way I didn't expect from an entertainer. I also realized I knew a few of your songs. I walked over and talked to Brian, but I didn't know who Brian was then. I pre-brought a couple of White Flag CD's and when I got home, I found your website, shlog and your messageboard. I've been here ever since because I continue to learn so much every day, thanks to you and everyone that comments. I don't comment much, because before reading shlog, I didn't really think deep thoughts, not like this anyway. And I still don't think deep thoughts unless you ask me to. By the time I think about and figure out how and why I feel about this or that, you all have moved on to several other topics. ; )

    Marketing had nothing to do with my first impression of you. As a matter of fact, when I read the marketing material later, I was a little confused, because it didn't even seem like they were describing you. Now I know why.

    Also wanted to say that my husband is not the same man he was when we met, and neither am I the same woman I was back then. I thank God for that. We have both matured over the years and if we were still the same people, we may not have made it through some of the things we've been though.

    Thank you for your blog, Shaun and thank you for teaching us, inspiring us, and making us ask why.

    8/11/2006  
    Blogger Mike Harvat said...

    Shaun, I know I'm coming into this discussion somewhat late, but I second what you wrote about the "emergent" church in the comments under your last post.

    Last night I walked into my Christian bookstore and filed through the "RELEVANT" section of books, and found myself extremely bored with what I found there. Now don't get me wrong - a lot of it was good reading - but almost every book was dolled up to make it look hip and "relevant" to me, the twentysomething consumer.

    I'm tired of having products or whatever marketed to me telling me that I'll be "on the fringe" if I'm reading this book or going to that church - like the gospel is something new for the 21st century. This fascination with being "relevant" can lead to complacency, perpetuating a cycle of buying books to convince me that I'm getting equipped to live out the Gospel....just as soon as I'm done reading this book.

    8/11/2006  
    Blogger Loren said...

    Mike,

    I agree, the "contemporary" branded service was so 1998 now we have a post/modern/emergent/cutting edge service. It seems we can't shake this branding thing loose, I bet at some simpler form its part of our nature, to associate with somethings and not with others.

    So if we can't shake it, how do we use it for God's Kingdom?

    8/11/2006  
    Blogger Susanne said...

    Wow. Your paragraph that starts "Pastors lament the lack of volunteerism..." really packs a punch. So many people today want to just pull up a seat and enjoy the "show" instead of actively participating in worship or helping take care of other people's children during church. In deciding on a church to join, many people are more concerned about the "feeling" they get during the service rather than how God can use them in that church body. I hope that we'll soon see a revolution take place in our Christian churches, and more of us will take active parts in worship. I'd rather see 100 voices praising God together in a choir than just 3 people on "stage" in a praise band with most people in the congregation simply enjoying the show. I used to be a member of a megachurch, and there were many Sundays that I wondered if I was supposed to have a ticket to get in. I'd like to see churches start spending less time, money, and energy making church cool, comfortable, warm, and fuzzy, and spend more of their resources trying to do the work that God wants them to do.

    8/11/2006  
    Blogger Shaun Groves said...

    Of course the revolution starts with the critics (that's you and me Suzanne) asking ourselves tough questions like:

    Are we critical because our wants aren't being met by the local church or because of something deeper and truer?

    What are WE doing any differently? Are we lead around by the leash of unmet wants?

    If we never see a revolution will we still love people and the Church or is our love contingent upon getting our way?

    How are we really different from those we criticize?

    What are we doing to BE the Church while we work and pray for reformation in the local church?

    8/11/2006  
    Blogger Kathryn said...

    Loren, thanx for your comment about the church. I like your idealism.

    8/12/2006  
    Blogger Kev said...

    Shaun--unlike a lot of others, the marketing behind your first record didn't affect me one way or the other; I bought it the second I was aware of its existence, because you were my first former student to have a commercially-released recording (even if it didn't have a lick of saxophone on it *grin*). But it was the honesty in the music (and, yes, the catchy tunes) that's kept that CD in my rotation for the past five years (I have Twilight also, but I loaned it to my worship leader several years ago in the hopes that we could play some of your songs in our services....have yet to get that back).

    This whole topic is pretty big, and it'll take me a while to digest the whole thing, especially in relation to the church. I've never been big on the whole mass-marketing thing in the music business (I've written on this topic here), and I tend to agree with the people here who have already noted that, hey, most of us aren't gullible and stupid, and we know when we're being sold a bill of goods. The high-pressure quick-sell may be good for short-term gain, but honesty pays off in the long run.

    Anyway, I'm glad I found this blog; I'll visit regularly, because you have a lot to say. Hope our paths cross again soon.

    8/12/2006  
    Blogger Shaun Groves said...

    Keven, I just got asked to play sax in a wedding in December. Haven't played in a few years. Do you make house calls...to tennessee?

    There's no way I'll sound good enough to play in public by December.

    Thanks for stopping by. Come back often.

    SG

    8/12/2006  
    Blogger clint said...

    We had a similar issue at my own church when my wife and I first joined. The plant was at about 60 people with three pastors: two teachers alternating sundays and one worship leader/youth minister. The church met in a gym, and the 3 pastors would arrive each Sunday at 7am to set everything (stage, sound system, chairs, children's room) up for the service which began at 11am. Then they would stay until 1 or 2 in the afternoon to pack everything up again. That first sunday, I remember thinking I had never seen three pastors work so hard to barely get finished before the service started, with 40+ people milling around doing nothing. My wife and I began a group in the following month to help set up and tear down the church and take the pressure off the pastor team. The setup team today is built from our friends who joined us at the new church. To this day, there are still none of the 60+ congregants who have asked to join in setup.

    Sometimes I agree with Seth. I don't think it will ever change once the expectation has been set. Jesus taught that from the heart comes our good deeds. We must put new wine into new wineskins, so until we change the wineskin, we'll never change the wine. And changing wineskins is not our job, but His.

    I believe this also applies to Kathryn's "idealism" statement. The church is a need not only for the individual (we must have community - who can live very long without any friends?) but also for the world. The bible is littered throughout with statements about God's judgement on nations who do not help the poor. Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because of sexual sin, but because they oppressed those living in poverty (Eze. 16:49). I can either decide to look around at the rest of the nominal church and be frustrated, or seek to have my own heart changed and make a difference for God's Kingdom in this broken world. Realism?

    I think our marketing of the church, whatever it looks like, if true, would probably turn more people away than bring them in.

    8/12/2006  
    Anonymous Rich said...

    Sometimes being critics means we do not necessarily want something deeper and truer, but that we are perhaps trapped in the vortex of narcissism. Really, there is always more to the story. This is why history is so important. We can see if what we are facing is just us or if our brethren in the past experienced it, too. If not, we are just whining. And, our voices will have faint impact. I believe that the real felt need people have today has more to with getting away from feelings to trustworthy principles.

    We want to get away from being manipulated by entertainment or marketing but feel trapped in it. Like one comment said about the books that are “relevant”, boredom is the result. Boredom is the new disease. We need a cause and a purpose and meaning. These anchor us in the winds of Madison Avenue and MTV and….

    8/12/2006  
    Blogger Shaun Groves said...

    This is good reading. Thanks for posting.

    8/12/2006  
    Blogger Kev said...

    " Do you make house calls...to tennessee?"

    Man, I wish the Lear jet wasn't in the shop right now... ;-)

    But seriously, if it weren't for that pesky 600-miles-away thing, I'd come give you a refresher course in a heartbeat.

    Oh yeah--how far away are Nashville and Knoxville? I have a former student starting at Belmont this fall, and he was the only one I could think of who would be within a day's drive of your upcoming live recording.

    8/13/2006  
    Anonymous randall said...

    Cool discussion. Boredom may be the new disease, but love never gets boring. In the context of church, marketing can't hang with love.

    But marketing is cheap. Love is way expensive. Marketing may have a big budget, but it does not demand we give ourselves, which also means it can't ever really work. But it is much tidier, and it keeps us busy and protected. So we market.

    Or was Jesus marketing his Kingdom when he said I am the truth? Or when he washed the feet of the disciples? I don't think so, because marketing seems to imply having something you want to sell to somebody. Jesus came not to sell a message but to give himself. And that's all we have to offer as well.

    I look forward to checking out that book , Shawn. It reminds me of the 2 Malcom Gladwell books I've recently enjoyed.

    8/14/2006  

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