[Loud grunts are heard as Chak laboriously climbs onto his favorite soapbox]
It seems to me, as I look around, that Christian printing, publishing, and art is dominated by cheap junk and overly sophisticated, ridiculously expensive, slick marketing campaigns. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. In most cases, the situation is really bad: large church or small ministry.
There are many factors in this:
- Budgets are tight or there is more money than sense: Tight budgets are sometimes true. But the reality is usually that there is plenty of money but not enough knowledge to know how to be a good steward of the resources available.
- Designers are volunteers: This is a massive problem. Commonly these volunteers know very little or they are using the ministry as an opportunity to produce a portfolio piece to help their career. Regardless, they almost never have any access to the budget or have any input into publishing choices.
- Publishing is seen as an expense: It is rarely seen as the essential element of communication in our modern marketing-driven civilization.
- Budgets are controlled by ignorance & fear: OK, so that’s a bit of an overstatement — but not by much in most cases. Printers, computers, copiers, and the like are purchased exclusively by bottom line measurements with no consideration of real costs or needs.
- There is rarely a real strategy: Printing, publishing, & marketing are added reluctantly if at all by people who rarely have a plan other than preach the Gospel to the whole world. There is rarely any thought of local vision, community need, or what the heck does the Lord specifically want you to be doing now.
I know. My opinions here are dark, but we are living in darkness. So I have a few questions?
- How much of a factor is excellence in these matters?
- What does excellence mean here?
- How do we bypass political correctness in favor of truth?
- How do we reach people dazed by the constant influx of entertainment & noise?
- How does “live quietly and mind your own business” apply today? Paul’s actual words to the Thessalonians were: “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands” ESV
What do you think about all of this?