What AOL Does Better Than Churches

I came across this a few days ago.

I haven’t gotten an invite, so I’m not exactly sure what it’s going to look like or what it’s going to offer.
I do know, though, that it looks like AOL is making an effort to re-emerge as a relevant tool.

I think a lot of churches could learn from this.

While our message can NEVER change, we must continually make changes and adaptations to our method to stay relative.

For too long, churches have refused to change.
They’ve refused to change their ways at risk of making a “few church people” mad.
Meanwhile, they’ve forgotten about their target market… the lost.

So, they’ve sacrificed advancing the Kingdom on the altar of self happiness.

While only time will tell if AOL’s new email feature and system will truly change anything,
at least they’re trying.

Unfortunately, many churches can’t say the same…

Your thoughts?


  1. My thoughts? I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know anything about AOLs facelift but I do think that the church as an institution has done much to dilute and distort Jesus’ original message.

    So what’s the answer? Because there is no quick fix is there?

  2. Would totally agree with the concept churches are very reluctant to change. They find it difficult to relate to their culture party because that refuse to se ethemselves as they really are….many times it is irrelevant!

  3. I agree with everything in your post but I do believe that there is a groundswell building of God’s people that are beginning to get “it”. They are beginning to see that if the church continues to be reluctant to changing the method of reaching people then it will continue to slip in the relevance category. With that realization, there are more and more people being innovative and thinking outside the box…striving to bring a relevant God to lost people. We have a long way to go but the tide is turning, in my humble opinion.

  4. Ian

    Myspace did the same thing.

    Whenever I have tried to do thing differently, It’s been reacted to in a positive way, and then there are those who will whinge because they didn’t get what they wanted from their church experience.

    While it is true that the Church exists to build up believers, I think there is a difference between building up, and making people comfortable.

  5. IMHO, there are two main issues.

    1) The church as a whole treats the secular world with a simlar repulsiveness that a vampire does garlic. It acts like one can (and should) completely avoid all influences besides that in their “Christian” circle. We are told to take the gospel to the masses, right? To whitness to everyone we come across? What does it help if the only people we come across are Christians?

    2) Plain and simple, the “Church” is a business and experimenting with strategies is a risky thing when you have staff and property to pay for. The problem is, they don’t see that people want a more relevant experience and that they are only turning people away.

  6. Great point, Jonathan. Our church is going through the process of making meaningful change and not everyone likes it. But the risk is worth it because we are reaching more people than ever before, growing, and witnessing life change. It’s awesome to see and be a part of.

    Along a similar note, I wrote a post last year that compared the church to Starbucks after seeing a parody video. http://bit.ly/cXHCvu

    Thanks for the words of wisdom.

  7. Seriously, Jesus shook up the religious environment when he came on the scene – He is still ALIVE – the Holy Spirit is MOVING – why do we think our methods are “sacred cows” to Him? He is STILL shaking things up.

  8. My pastor once talked about our church’s past in a sermon. The church started in 1983, and in the 80’s, they were very much up-to-date as far as style, music, cultural relevance, etc. Because it worked so well at the time, he decided to keep it that way well into the mid-90’s. He said eventually, God got on his case about not being so rigid about style, pushing him to make the service more relevant to the culture of the time. He said he thought everything was just swell and saw no reason to change anything, so he didn’t… he told us he said to God, “The music is great, the style is awesome, it’s been working out this way since we started. They’ll learn to like it. They’ll change.” He said God’s reply was, “Oh, they’ll change… their location.” He said he immediately got the point, re-styled service, had the praise and worship leader find modern worship music, and made it a point to stay up-to-date ever since. Of course, some “traditionalists” were not happy at all, but once service became relevant again, services started filling up with new people to the point that they actually had to expand the building to fit everyone in.

  9. Okay, so my idea is…. Why spend time at church singing because we all have iTunes and can sing anytime. Why spend time at church listening to teaching? Because we can all podcast Andy Stanley or someone and listen at home. The only thing we really need when we get together is discussion and connection. Why make people sit and listen for an hour in a service and/or sit and listen in a Sunday School class. It’s a waste of time@


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