Cream of Wheat in a Pop Tart Culture

CofW

My wife worked for a major advertising firm in Chicago and one of their clients was Cream of Wheat.  In the face of a culture that was increasingly given to things that were sticky, sweet, and easily prepared --- like Pop Tarts --- the folks at Cream of Wheat struggled to market their product.In working with the firm it became clear that one of the challenges they faced was that they were trying to sell Cream of Wheat --- instead of selling its experience or its benefits.  What finally worked f … [Read more...]

Family Values? Not so much.

Motherhood

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review offers statistical confirmation of something that mothers have known for a long time.  Having children does them no good in the work world.According to Amanda K. Baumle at the University of Houston, who analyzed the 2000 Census “Having children tends to result in higher wages for men, whether they’re straight or gay, married or partnered…Most mothers make less than childless women.” And “Only lesbians get a salary bump from having kids.”  What … [Read more...]

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

Movies

Over the years relatives have shared church bulletins with us, thinking that we might find what the churches are doing of interest.  That’s understandable, considerate, and sometimes we do find them interesting.  There are other times when they are just crazy-making.For example, my wife’s parents sent us a bulletin from their church in Exeter, New Hampshire announcing a new fall film festival.  The subject matter?“Fresh”….according to the bulletin “Fresh” celebrates the farmers, thinkers and … [Read more...]

Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors and here is

handchurch2

Not so many people.  Why?  In part, apparently, because we are doing an increasingly poor job of explaining to the people who come through the doors what it is that we believe, why it makes a difference, and how it differs from what others believe. A recent Pew Research Center report concluded: Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions … [Read more...]

Healing church, hurtful church

imgres

We had dinner with friends last night and we began talking about the emerging church phenomenon — the latest effort to re-boot the church by breaking ties with the long-established denominational structures that have dominated recent Christian history. In passing, one of our friends observed, “Well, I haven’t been hurt by the church, so I find it much harder to turn my back on the day to day reality that we identify as church.” I was really jarred by the observation (though I didn’t say so) … [Read more...]


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