Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"They didn't understand how much politics has changed since the 1990s. They were slow to use the Internet ... "

This is an interesting analysis. While its subject is the failure of the Clinton campaign, it has lessons for church bodies.

Church bodies that feel that they are "inevitable," or that they have some kind of lock on a constituency are usually wrong. Honestly, I'm not sure there's a lot to do to repair some of these groups. There's a whiff of decay about them, they feel almost retro, as though they were operating in 1989. And usually, the things they feel are ever so current are dated beyond belief. My favorite story of this nature was an LCMS pastor who sought to bring in what he thought were "contemporary hymns." One he suggested as contemporary was in reality written in the 1890s, and the hymn-writer was killed when she was thrown from a buggy in 1896 when a horse bolted. But in the same way that we are often suspicious of those who loudly proclaim their morality, it's not wrong to be suspicious of those who proclaim how contemporary they are. They usually aren't. The quote I gave above is symptomatic: the Clinton campaign didn't know how to use the net. Her staffers -- and her voters -- were old. Church groups that are dying usually can't use the net. Their members, too, are likely to be old and dying.

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