Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"The Long Tail" why local churches work and larger structures don't

"WIRED" magazine is part of my reading discipline. It's a magazine about technology and culture (and a lot of stuff I don't get). "WIRED"'s editor is Chris Anderson, who just wrote a book "The Long Tail ; why the future of business is selling less of more." This is a secular economics/business book. I explains some of the weird twists and turns going on out there in the marketpalce: like Google, Rhapsody, Amazon, Netflicks, and E-Bay.
He explains what's happening to TV viewing habits (going down) and newspapers (in real trouble). He explores and opens up what it means to operate with digital inventory and no production costs. He expains an econommy of abundance and infinite choice.
All the while I read the book, I kept thinking about the local church, the conference and the denomination and what these structures mean in today's morphing economy. It makes me wonder if top-down hierarchies have a limited life-span and local informal groupings that have little staff and low overhead are not the picture of the future of the church. Because the "product" of the church is ideally suited for a digital world: it's good news that is timeless and multi-cultural. our older big-boxes look more like Sears and Roebucks stores than Amazon.com.
I encourage leaders and pastors to get this book as a road-map for future ministry.


At 2:22 PM , Anonymous kent said...

Interestingly enough in the Chicago area there are major changes for the big box stores. The falgship Mareshal;l Fields wiill changing to Macy's much to the dusmay of thewir liyal shoppers and Carson Pierre Scott is closing their downtown store. It wasn't profitable any longer. At one time there 7 such department stores in downtown Chicago, and now there is but one.

At 2:40 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

What do you think this will be to the "big box" churches?

At 11:26 PM , Anonymous billy said...

Thanks for the recomendation Don. I am very interested in how complexity theory and the science of emergence (bottom up, open source etc) might change the face of the church.

At 6:07 AM , Anonymous kent said...

For the stores it is economics. It was too expensive to operate those stores any longer. You wonder though about the future of churches with 100 acres and building of 500,000 sq.ft. and how they will be able to continue.

At 5:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be a huge impact if churches are ever expected to pay property taxes. Never mind taxes on offerings, just tax the land and buildings and you will see many of the mega churches leave.


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