God’s Bailout Plan

December 12, 2008 by

Things in Detroit are rough, and church leaders are having to decide how to help their congregations through these difficult times. The New York Times tells their stories.

One churches featured SUVs on their stage during services, and another invited members of the United Auto Workers union to speak. Another changed their church sign to urge passer-bys to come in and hear “God’s bailout plan.”

The real kicker is the archbishop who offered “some pastoral insights and suggestions about how we might prepare to celebrate Christmas this year when economic conditions are so grim.”

SUVs on stage? Another cheesy church sign? Churches needing insight on how to celebrate Christmas without their congregations spending boatloads on gifts?

Looks like even though the economy is tanking, church marketing still sucks.

Post By:

Joshua Cody


Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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6 Responses to “God’s Bailout Plan”

  • Lindsay
    December 12, 2008

    I think we should make suggestions to better church marketing during these tough time. Simply criticizing and leaving it at that won’t make anything better. So, what can we as church marketers do to improve are marketing strategies while also helping people understand God’s role in such a tough economic time?


  • Darren Chapman
    December 12, 2008

    It’s no better here in Australia. Everywhere I go there is a cringe factor at signs and church flyers. We need a new site called http://www.churchsignssuck.com that gives hundreds of great ideas for every season that aren’t CHEESY!
    ‘Life is tough, pray hard’ just isn’t going to cut it!


  • Lex
    December 15, 2008

    I’d commend the church that taught on celebrating Christmas in tough financial times. It’s something that I’d like to think people wouldn’t NEED to be taught, but if the leadership at a local church discerned that it’s going to be a problem, and they addressed it – why isn’t that a good thing? Why aren’t we patting them on the back for being relevant to the people in their community?
    Christmas is tighter for just about everyone this year. I can’t imagine what’s it’s going to like in communities suffering from mass lay-offs. Considering that most Americans have been taught their entire lives that Christmas is about piles of presents under a tree, it might take a little re-training. If people are down because they can’t provide the piles of gifts for their families, I think it’s great that church leadership tries to encourage their spirits by re-focusing them on family and the birth of Christ.
    It may seem silly, but if that’s what people need …
    It’s not super-hip and it’s not slick and it’s not going to require a stage theme, but they’re trying to help people.
    If it’s disappointing to the marketers and communications people watching, I’m sure constructive suggestions would be welcome. And if any can’t be offered, maybe we should realize that – even though we know we’re the coolest – Church isn’t ALL about marketing.


  • Lindsay
    December 15, 2008

    I agree with Lex. I don’t see the problem with marketing a sermon about the focus of Christmas during touch financial times. Especially in Detroit churches! And if we can’t give them constructive suggestions then we certainly shouldn’t be judging their ideas.


  • al
    December 15, 2008

    I agree with Lex. Also churches in need of guidance on christmas are really bankrupt. We should just rename name Christmas – “Down at Walmart”
    My more “spiritual” family members gave me lists of stuff they don’t need from Walmart but want to see under the tree.
    Although I am not a bible beater me and my wife chose to forgo gifts but are giving to local non-profits in the area which are hurting bad.
    My family’s sad response was “It is the one time of year we all get to open gifts together” like I let them down.
    I don’t like to pray but this year I will and I am asking for the gift of “humanity”


  • albert
    December 15, 2008

    I agree with Lex. Also churches in need of guidance on christmas are really bankrupt. We should just rename name Christmas – “Down at Walmart”
    My more “spiritual” family members gave me lists of stuff they don’t need from Walmart but want to see under the tree.
    Although I am not a bible beater me and my wife chose to forgo gifts but are giving to local non-profits in the area which are hurting bad.
    My family’s sad response was “It is the one time of year we all get to open gifts together” like I let them down.
    I don’t like to pray but this year I will and I am asking for the gift of “humanity”



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