Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Today's communion service was brought to you by Welches grape juice . . .

So . . . you get a letter that offers you a chance to win both a thousand dollars and at a free trip to London; all you need to do is mention Disney's film, "The Chronicles of Narnia," in one of your sermons.

Would you do it?

And no, this is not a theoretical question. According to a recent article in the Wharton School of Business's on-line journal, major corporations such as Disney and DaimlerChrysler are looking for ways to reach church audiences . . . and if that means paying pastors to do "product placements" in church services, then so be it.

Full disclosure: as editor of Signs of the Times, I wrote an annual sermon that was sent out to all Adventist pastors; the hope was they'd use the sermon -- and in the process, they'd put in a plug for Signs. And yes, I've also run announcements in the church bulletin for upcoming Adventist Book Center sales; in return, our church got a $20 credit on future orders.

Click on the title of this post for a reprint of the article in "Out of Ur." As you do so, I hope you'll appreciate the irony of the fact that it's sponsored by Leadership magazine. And yes, you may want follow this article with William Willimon's mediation on consumerism; click here to read it.

Update: For part two of the Wharton article, click here.

1 comment:

Loren said...

Interesting article. Corporate sponsorship of religious (at least gospel music) events has been around for quite some time. I think back in the '60s Chevrolet was the sponsor for Thurlow Spurr's "Splendor of Sacred Song" concert tour. Also, Chik-fil-a has been a major sponsor of the Gospel Music Assn.'s gospel music week and the Dove Awards in Nashville for many years.