Some examples of the supply and demand culture we live in:
The powers that be that control the Middles Eastern oil sands have driven the price of oil up significantly simply by limiting the amount of oil taken from the earth. The result has been a world wide jump in prices at the pump, a renewed search for more oil in other parts of the world, grain fuels, and ‘wars on terrorism.’
Gmail. When gmail was first introduced the only way that anyone could sign up for a gmail account was through a personal invite from a friend who only had a limited number of invites. It was a great bit of marketing that allowed new gmail users to, at least for a while, feel a sense of status in ‘the next big thing.’ Early adopters of gmail had a superior service that gave a personal sense of superiority and insider knowledge. Everyone wanted to at least get the invite so they could check it out!
Now let’s transition this to ideas, actions, emotions, and spirituality. To do this, keep this key thought in your mind: “Familiarity breeds depreciation.” When something, anything, is too familiar, it looses its value.
Ideas – Which ideas get the most play time in your thoughts? The ideas that are surprising, arouse curiosity, and are counter-intuitive to what you normally think. Right?
Actions – I have a sneaking little suspicion that sex is talked about, joked about, thought about, viewed online, and highly valued because sex, for most people, is a scarcity. Again, supply and demand.
Emotions – Imagine if everyone was accepted. Imagine if no one ever felt like the outsider, rejected, or lonely. Imagine what would happen to acceptance! No one would care anymore and it obviously wouldn’t be something that people see counselors about, cry in bathroom stalls about, or jump off bridges for. Acceptance is a scarce feeling because so many are not accepted. Now consider this; most strong emotions have something to do with a scarcity.
Spirituality – Have you heard a statement like this before, “We live in a culture that is very interested in spirituality but not interested in the church or Jesus.” I’m sure you have. Have you ever thought why that statement is made?
I think it might have something to do with scarcity. Bible-believing Christ-centered spirituality is no longer sacred in its ideas, actions, and emotions because it is no longer scarce. There is too much of it. Think about that for a moment…
Familiarity breeds depreciation. People don’t care because we’re not sexy or, as Jesus put it, salt and light.
Could it be that the large majority of our current Canadian society does not appreciate or has a growing depreciation of the church simply because they already know what they are going to get? I’ve heard it said over and over that the church needs to be known in culture but maybe we need to be less known? Are we too familiar? Maybe. Could we somehow surprise culture with something they don’t know, feel, or see?
There might be room for scarcity in your church. Scarcity drives market.
tags: church marketing, emerging church, church growth, church economics