Is Your Church Simply a Business?

So lately, I have started to think of local churches as just businesses. There are a few reasons for this and I will try to explain in my grogginess of an early morning wake up.

I had a recent one way conversation after a friend posted a blog about how churches shouldn’t have a senior leader and all churches should be orchestrated by elders who all had the same authority. My plea to him was that it won’t work and hasn’t worked as people want leadership and they want someone to follow. He read my response but never engaged in the discussion so I conversed internally and started making my own observations.

I have a few friends who are starting new churches. These are called church plants. Typically these don’t happen in a corn field in the middle of Iowa, but there is some reason to the location selection. So churches get planted where people live and do business. Location is a primary thought when planting a church and even naming your business / church.

Both of my friends have been marketing their church to the public. After all a Church can’t survive without customers. One friend has even started advertising on Facebook about the kick off launch inside a hip coffee shop miles away from his intended start location. So now it even employs a bit of friendly competition with other area churches. I’m merely shaking my head in astonishment.

People fire churches. Churches open their doors weekly and allow customers to come in for free. They do encourage giving and volunteering, but mainly they focus on activities to get more people engaged and into the work of that church. To pull away from that the customer must at some point and time make a decision to leave and go somewhere else. Activities drive participation and inclusiveness drives giving and loyalty. We all want to be part of something bigger and are willing to pay for that service.

Here is the real kicker. The board or leadership of the church based on the bylaws typically have majority stake in what is done. The only time they may not is prior to establishing said organization. Usually the initial leader has entrepreneurial tendencies while eventually that goes away after additional Leaders are hired. The Main Pastor or leader comes beholden to the congregation. Typically this will cause some issues depending on what it taught and how it is taught. If attendance drops and expectations aren’t met the board has the onus to rectify the situation.

Don’t get me wrong I do attend church regularly and will continue to attend. However my observation has given me a different perspective. Maybe churches should simply go to a subscription model of doing business and truly operate like a business that in reality they already are doing. What if a church truly embraced the idea of being a well run business?




I’m an entrepreneur who has a deep love for God, my wife and my family.

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Brandon Gott

Brandon Gott

I’m an entrepreneur who has a deep love for God, my wife and my family.

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