There was once a time when Microsoft was the big guy. Darth Vader. The dark side of the force. Apple by comparison was the little guy – Luke Skywalker, our only hope. It stood for everything we admired. It was the underdog. Loved. Admired. Respected. A free thinker.
Then something changed.
Apple became the big guy. iPhone. iPad. Whoa. It got really, really big. Bigger than Microsoft. Steve Jobs became a grumpy old man. Firing off emails. Taking Flash out. Reports dripped out day after day of Chinese workers living in bad conditions. Then there were the environmental issues. Phones that were once magical and revolutionary became dodgy and had bad reception.
What happened? A perception shift of seismic proportions.
The little guy was to have been perceived by the wider society to have grown up and become the big bad guy. Unfortunately the same thing has happened to the Church.
The little guy. The counter-cultural community became a movement that changed the world. A Roman Emperor become a follower. Rome followed. Countries followed. Buildings were built. Cultures and world-views were born out of it. Wars were fought because of it.
The Church is now perceived to have well and truly grown up and the world doesn’t like what it sees. Or thinks it sees. Some would say that the church hasn’t just grown up, but that it’s gotten old. Grumpy. Irrelevant. Past it’s used by date.
You see. Whether you like it or not, this is a perception of your church (and mine) by many of what your number one target audience.
Don’t get me wrong. They still like Jesus. But for most people? The church? No thanks.
4 questions for you
- What is your perception of your church? Here are 25 factors that shape perception of your church. There are hundreds more.
- What is your community’s perception of your church?
- Do you have a primary target audience?
- If you need to, how will you change this perception? Hint: Everything counts
Question: Why do you think the Church has the perception problem of Darth Vader proportions?