A Review of Franchising McChurch

Have you ever been in a church and felt that the experience was a little too consumer-driven?  Sometimes I long for the "good ole days," when going to church was merely a time to experience and worship God.  Franchising McChurch reminds us all what church should be.  My review is enclosed - I hope you enjoy it.

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Available at Amazon
Franchising McChurch: Feeding Our Obsession with Easy Christianity. [Soft cover]
by Thomas White & John M. Yeats
240 pages, $14.99
ISBN-10: 1434700046

Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd

Many years ago, Christianity’s greatest apostle wrote an amazing letter to a church in a thriving metropolis. To the church at Corinth Paul intimated, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” In essence, Paul was saying that Christianity requires one to do whatever is necessary to see others come to salvation.

Is it possible to go too far?

In Franchising McChurch, White and Yeats believe so. They have written a thorough polemic against the modern church’s nearly insatiable quest to be consumer driven. These theologians have borrowed George Ritzer’s concept of “McDonalization” and have applied it expertly to the church. Are the time-tested, entrepreneurial concepts that have made fast food universally available applicable to church growth?

In a word – no.

Today’s parishioner comes to the church service expecting a Happy Meal filled with a breathtaking toy surprise. He wants to stay for as little time as possible and still receive a meal without spending much money. To meet this growing demand, churches have regularly compromised sound biblical teaching and have provided dazzling multimedia, concert styled worship, and watered down sermons. Is it really a meal if you are only providing junk food for peoples’ souls?

White and Yeats discuss the church’s ills with scholarly precision seasoned with the grace of two men that have walked the trenches of pastoral ministry. The tome they have produced is not hollow criticism; instead, they devote an entire chapter to quitting McChurch. Their discussion on the error of striving for efficiency at the expense of effectiveness alone is worth the read.

Thankfully, successful churches that were birthed from the “seeker” movement have begun to realize that a church cannot compromise sound exegetical instruction. Topical sermons, for all their popularity, result in biblically illiterate denizens who do not comprehend basic spiritual truth. A diet of hamburgers will initially provide the illusion of satiety but will result in body degradation. Similarly, a watered down, consumer friendly sermon will encourage church dilapidation.

Who needs this book? Anyone who serves as a leader in church!


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