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God Is in the Details

I just finished reading Business Week’s cover story on Evangelical America. I was stunned: I’d understood the political power of these new-style churches, but I never really grasped the actual economic pull of these entities. I stopped cold at a few stats, such as the difference between a traditional American church’s budget of $100,000 vs. $4.8 million for a “megachurch” (and that’s a 1999 number). Then there was the $100 million, 140 acre campus of the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. Donald Trump, move on over!

The piece discusses how these churches have taken a page from business books in developing their sales and marketing. But with that kind of explosive growth , I wonder if the reverse should true–that the Targets and Motel 6s of the world might start benchmarking the churches for ideas. Does anyone know of this happening? Or is this the kind of thing that somehow feels inappropriate? What do you think?

JR