July 13, 2009

A Dying Medium

A couple of weekends ago I was invited to check out the Mobile, AL flea market with some friends. It's your typical hodgepodge of "if it's junk you can find it here" stores and booths.

At one particular booth, the man running it was in the process of setting out somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 movies on VHS tapes. My first thought was "how sad."

You can buy a DVD player for about $20 now. Are there really that many people left that will buy these tapes?

My feelings went from sad to worse, though, when I realized something else. Not only was this man trying to offload a dying (nay, dead) medium...but four stalls down, he had competition. Another man was also selling scores of movies on VHS.

I don't know what's worse: trying to sell something that almost no one is buying, or trying to sell something that almost no one is buying and realizing that you have competition.

How many churches are still clinging to practices that are engaging fewer and fewer people, all while looking around and realizing that the churches around them are doing the exact same thing? If you want to succeed in your mission, then sometimes you've got to offer people what they need in a way that works for them...not for you.

The guy selling fresh vegetables for a few cents cheaper than the supermarket had a line waiting to talk with him.

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