Bundling Is A Common Way to Add Value
People usually like packaged deals. For example. I don't like paying for internet. But if I get internet, TV, and telephone in a package for a good price, I'm in! I don't like paying $100 for a word processing package. But if I can get word processing, presentation software a spreadsheet and a database for slightly more money all I can say is, where do I pay?
Products packaged together are referred to as bundles. Bundling -- in the eyes of the consumer -- adds value. See a bundle and we believe we are getting more value for our hard earned money.
Bundling Isn’t Limited to the Marketplace.
Churches, for example, use bundling to attract attendees and potential members. So, if you were to attend a worship service at your local evangelical church, you may find worship options for children, youth, and adults. This same congregation may provide counseling, money management classes, daycare, programs for single moms, midweeks activities for children, bible studies for men, women, sewing circles, quilting classes, exercise classes, dance classes, motorcycle rides, golf tournaments, free meals, Twelve Step programs, choirs, bands. Additionally, these churches will also baptize, dedicate children, marry couples, perform funerals and memorial services, they may visit the sick and perform other kinds of visitations.
Churches bundle to add value and increase market share.
I'm not sure sufficient or enduring value is created by this persistent bundling. In fact, if church attendance is any indication, it may be time for some serious unbundling. Below are three ways to start unbundling church.
First, we'll need to unbundle service or ministry from the church walls. This is phase one of church unbundled; separating ministry from corporate sunken assets -- namely (and mostly) Corporately held church buildings.
Second, we'll need to unbundle spiritual development. In unbundled church, Christian discipleship is realized through the growth of convenience and choice. Church unbundled means that corporately sponsored “ministry” is over. God's people need more flexibility that the church calendar can provide. But they also need sufficient variety that can meet their individual needs.
Finally, we'll have to unbundle attendance. Can we finally come to terms with decreasing attendance at corporate worship services? I've never worked with a church staff that didn't see declining participation and worry about worship attendance on Sunday mornings. Church unbundled means that individuals can choose when and with whom they will worship -- if they choose to attend Sunday worship at all.
A New Kind of Faith Community
To be sure, Bundled church is here to stay. But Church Unbundled will spawn a new kind of faith community. These communities will be fostered -- not through buildings, programs or professional religious workers -- but by the personal experience and involvement of individuals who will use personal and digital distribution to connect with and develop spiritual maturity in our increasingly interconnected world.
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