Loss Leader Easter Sunday

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loss leaderIn retail, a loss leader is the practice of offering goods or services discounted at or below cost in order to draw consumers in.  The strategy is that drawing them in will hopefully lead them to buy additional items at a higher price.

Churches are formulating final plans for meaningful Easter worship services at the end of this week knowing they will potentially impact more attendees than on any other Sunday of the year.  In an effort to entice more participation some of those congregations are planning gimmicks or hooks to get consumers in for one of the most meaningful days of the church year.

When those consumers realize that worship actually requires offering their bodies as a living sacrifice, what methods then will those same congregations need to employ to entice those consumers to count the cost (Rom 12:1)?  How will those congregations help them express deep calling unto deep worship…when discounted loss leader worship is all that they are offering (Ps 42:7)?  In this context, you get what you pay for actually means…whatever you reach people with is what you will reach them to.

King David responded to God’s command to build an altar to the Lord so that the plague on the people of Israel might be stopped (2 Sam 24:21).  At no cost to David, Araunah offered his threshing floor, his oxen, and even the wood from the oxen yokes for the burnt offering.  King David replied, “No, I insist on paying for it.  I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Sam 24:24).

Terry York and David Bolin wrote, “We have forgotten that what worship costs is more important than how worship comforts us or how it serves our agendas.  We should not lift up to God worship or any other offering that costs us nothing.  If worship costs us nothing but is fashioned to comfort our needs and preferences, it may not be worship at all.”[1]

 


[1] Terry W. York and C. David Bolin, The Voice of Our Congregation: Seeking and Celebrating God’s Song for Us (Nashville: Abingdon, 2005), 112.

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3 Responses to this post.

  1. Posted by John Hollan on 24.03.13 at 5:39 pm

    Good words, David. My pastor and I have talked at great length about the practice of being one kind of church on days like Easter and Christmas and then being something completely different if/when your guests choose to return on the following Sunday for worship. At our church we choose to be very intentional about maintaining our regular schedule of events and modes of worship expression, even on these high-energy days, hoping to portray a true representation of who we are from week to week. Those of us who lead the church must demonstrate integrity in the ways we introduce ourselves to those outside the Body of Christ, otherwise we are simply playing an age-old “bait and switch”game that dishonors the gospel.
    jph

  2. Posted by Charles McClelland on 24.03.13 at 5:39 pm

    Your article made me think of two things.
    1) I have yet to see an Easter, or Christmas program that significantly impacted the level of attendance in the following months. Maybe we need to face the fact that we are dancing on the Catholic dance floor. There is no mandate in scripture to celebrate Jesus’ birth, nor is there any hint of an annual “Easter” celebration in the New Testament. We should celebrate the resurrection every Sunday.

    2) Worship as Evangelism–When I was a sales manager, we regularly held recruitment meetings for prospective sales representatives. Completely apart from that we regularly held training meetings to help existing sales reps do a better job of selling. We never confused the two meetings.

    Using Worship and teaching time as evangelism seems to restrict the level of worship or teaching to the level of the lowest common denominator. It wouldn’t work in business, and I don’t believe it fulfills the mandate of scripture to–So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

    Worship and evangelism are two separate functions when we combine them we do neither one effectively.

  3. Posted by Recommended Reading on 24.03.13 at 5:39 pm

    [...] Loss Leader Easter Sunday – David Manner In retail, a loss leader is the practice of offering goods or services discounted at or below cost in order to draw consumers in. The strategy is that drawing them in will hopefully lead them to buy additional items at a higher price. Churches are formulating final plans for meaningful Easter worship services at the end of this week knowing they will potentially impact more attendees than on any other Sunday of the year. [...]

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