Interview: Every Church Needs Its Unique Selling Point

A picture of a church
A picture of a church (photo:
By Li ShiguangAugust 1st, 2023

Brother Wang Yun (pseudonym) serves as a full-time pastor in a church in southern China, where he has encountered numerous churches throughout his ministry.

In an interview with the Christian Times, a Chinese online Christian newspaper, Wang emphasized the significance of each church having its distinctive "selling point" or core competence. Sometimes, when believers attend a Sunday service in an unfamiliar church, they are unsure about the content of the sermon. This lack of clarity is often due to inadequate sermon preparation and an unwillingness to improve among pastors. Wang attributes this issue to the absence of pressure or competition among churches and pastors.

He elaborated that, in many places in China, churches function as de facto "monopolies," operating exclusively as the sole option within their respective areas. Consequently, some churches do not prioritize attracting believers to their services, assuming that the scarcity of alternatives will compel believers to attend their church by default.

Wang contends that running a church shares similarities with running a business. To establish a church successfully, one must contemplate how it can flourish and endure. Not every church thrives equally, hence the significance of having a distinct "selling point" to attract followers.

For a business to survive and prosper, it must possess a competitive advantage. Similarly, a small restaurant may thrive by offering affordability, unique and delectable cuisine, amiable service, or a prime location.

Accordingly, while preaching the gospel remains a fundamental function of a church, it must also cultivate its distinctive features, such as praise and worship, small groups, discipleship training, or prayer meetings, to take root and progress.

Wang highlights that present-day believers, particularly some young adherents, have grown more discerning. When they attend a church, many approach it with a "supermarket shopping" mentality, staying committed if they find it appealing, but swiftly moving on to another church if they don't. These believers are often referred to as "church wanderers."

A church's reputation in various aspects influences believers' attraction and commitment. Consequently, the considerable expectations imposed by believers become a driving force propelling churches to grow.

- Translated by Joyce Leung

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