The Battle for the Church (Market)

There’s a battle brewing in the church in America.  It’s not over gay marriage or abortion or whether to do away with ordination (much to my chagrin).  No, it’s over who will capture the church market with their church community software.  There are three contenders, as far as I can tell, and a whole lot of money at stake — both money that’s already been spent on development, and money to be made on future sales.  The three are:

The Table Project – developed and owned by YouthWorks, a non-profit mission organization;

The City – developed by Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church and now owned by Zondervan, a subsidiary of HarperCollins, a subsidiary of Newscorp;

SoChurch – developed and owned, as far as I can tell, by the SoChurch team.

Full disclosure: I used to work for YouthWorks and I have published books with Zondervan.  But no one has asked me to blog about this, nor has any of these groups offered me a look at their system.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but it seems that others do.  Last week on the SoChurch blog, Ben Forsberg wrote a quite aggressive post, replete with fighting rhetoric, in which he accused The City of “buying our Google AdWords and following our Twitter followers.”  He writes, [Read more…]