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The Great Church Marketing Failure

Do you want to know why the iPhone is massively successful? It goes beyond the technology and shiny aluminum coating. It goes beyond societies need to be constantly connected. It goes directly to a basic marketing principle — it undersells and over delivers. Apple sells you shiny and gives you substance. It is this combination of setting expectations and providing more than you promise that has made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Too bad the church has forgotten this basic principle.

An Unhealed Heart and the Institutional Church

There seems to be a heavy angst against the Church - both from those looking on from the outside and from those seething in the pews every Sunday. Some of my closest friends have boldly declared, "I am done with the institutionalized church!" and have proceeded to start their own churches and ministries.

This makes me sad. It makes me weep.

#EmptyChat - Worship is a Response

Here is a transcript of one of EC's #slackchats. It is a peak into our conversation. Please be mindful this is an excerpt of an ongoing discussion. Join in by commenting below.

Josh: "all human attempts to initiate worship can only result in distorting God's glory." Worship is exclusively responsive in nature. Thoughts?

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about using the Lord's Prayer as a template for your personal prayer life. I've continued to do that and God answered one of my prayers in a very literal way. I want to share with you exactly what happened, but first let me give you a bit of background. 

Top Clicks and Picks of 2015

As 2015 reaches closing time the final hours, minutes and seconds beg to be reflected on. So that is what we are going to do. I have asked the Empty Church crew to come up with their favorite posts from our first year

The Hopes And Fears At Christmas

In the manger where divinity and humanity supernaturally fused it is only fitting that hope and fear find their natural juxtaposition. We humans are frail and full of fear. We expect the worst and crumble when it arrives.

Talk Faith

Always remember, while faith is personal it is not meant to be private. If your faith in Jesus has saved you from the bondage of sin that is a worthy story to share! It is a story that may be influential in the rescue of someone else. We talk about faith with others so their worldview may be refined and sharpened. 

7 Confessions of Thankfulness

Gratitude and thankfulness work their magic and keep us humble. The very act of recognizing that you are thankful for someone, some act, some moment, realigns our hearts and minds on this journey of life. It reminds us that the daily work of "striving for” has yielded some fruit.

The Storytellers and the Bondage of the Modern American Christian

Today, churches resemble wild concerts and rehab programs. Entertaining fun with a side of 12 steps. Honesty is covered in sweet honey so you can take the medicine while focusing on the pleasure of taste and the avoidance of discomfort. Who cares if you get better? It only matters if you feel good. Is it possible that the “gospel” being proclaimed from pulpits around the world is thickening the chains instead of breaking them? 

An Empty Response to the Starbucks RedCup Controversy

Taking Christ out of Christmas?  No. They are taking a word off of a coffee cup. The cup has zero powers to influence anyone's decision to celebrate or refrain from celebrating a holiday. The 8 letter omission will not affect your church attendance or the billion dollar Christmas gift industry. Most off all Jesus will not be offended. He turns water into wine. Not coffee.

The Empty Church Difference

Ultimately we want you to be able to talk to your friends about topics of faith and following Jesus. We recognize that we are judged by what we have to say and what we believe.  We know it can be a nerve racking experience because the last thing anyone wants is to sound uneducated or misinformed. 

Our show strives to uncover the context of a faith discussion.

Our Front Porch Swing

As the ideas and planning for Empty Church started coming to form it was evident that we needed a front porch swing. We needed a place to talk, wrestle with issues, and find safety when life starts tagging us with difficulty. There needed to be a place where conversation happens and we learn something new or hear something again, but for the first time. We needed a place that was equally accessible for those that like to talk, but also for those who prefer to listen. But the idea of sitting on a porch swing is, admittedly, an outdated one. Newer homes do not have front porches much less porch swings.

Live Empty

Every day we try to keep God’s word and live like Jesus lived. Often, we suck at this and are forced to rely on grace to try again. We strive to have these qualities, though we realize it will take a lifetime for these attitudes to take root in our souls. We may get it more wrong than right, but here is the good news getting it right is glorious! Service and humility are key ingredients to better relationships, kinder communities, and a more peaceful world. 

What would it look like if you emptied yourself of some selfish ambition or sought the interest others like your do your own?