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Summary: The Father’s business was important to Jesus and should be important to the church also. We need to be faithful and diligent at this work.

TEXT: LUKE 2:41-49 (Don’t read yet)

TITLE: “WORKING AT THE FATHER’S BUSINESS”

(This message is adapted from George Barna’s book, Marketing The Church, pp. 39-54)

INTRODUCTION: A. The president of a business called one of his employees into the office. He said,

“Rob, you’ve been with the company for a relatively short time. You started off in the

mail room, a month later you were promoted to a sales position, and six months after

that you were promoted to district manager of the sales department. Just six months

later, you were promoted to vice-president of sales and marketing. And after another

year, you were made the executive vice-president. Now it’s time for me to retire, and

I want you to take over the company. What do you say to that?"

Rob replied, “Thanks.”

The head of the business was taken aback and said, “Thanks? Is that all you can

say? Thanks?”

And Rob replied, “I guess not. Thanks, Dad!”

--As Christians, we’ve been called to participate in the Father’s business.

B. Let’s read together Jesus’ statement concerning the “Father’s business”

--Luke 2:41-49 (AMP) – “Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year to the

Passover Feast. 42And when He was twelve years [old], they went up, as was their

custom. 43And when the Feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus

remained behind in Jerusalem. Now His parents did not know this, 44But, supposing

Him to be in the caravan, they traveled on a day’s journey; and [then] they sought

Him [diligently, looking up and down for Him] among their kinsfolk and

acquaintances. 45And when they failed to find Him, they went back to Jerusalem,

looking for Him [up and down] all the way. 46After three days they found Him

[came upon Him] in the [court of the] temple, sitting among the teachers, listening

to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard Him were astonished and

overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His intelligence and understanding and His

replies. 48And when they [Joseph and Mary] saw Him, they were amazed; and His

mother said to Him, Child, why have You treated us like this? Here Your father and I

have been anxiously looking for You [distressed and tormented]. 49And He said to

them, How is it that you had to look for Me? Did you not see and know that it is

necessary [as a duty] for Me to be in My Father’s house and [occupied] about My

Father’s business?’”

1. Some translations just havehave must be “in my Father’s house”

--the original language literally means, “things; concerns; interests; affairs”

2. Jesus was actively interested in His Father’s business.

--We , the church – the Body of Christ – must also be actively interested in the

Father’s business.

C. Before I go any further, I need to clarify something:

1. What am I talking about when I say the word “business”?

2. For our purposes this morning, a business would be defined as “any enterprise that

exists to promote a product.”

D. One of the things a business must do to be effective at promoting their product is

marketing

1. Some people have a bad impression of that term “marketing”

a. Why?

b. Because they consider the term “marketing” to be just a fancy word for “sales”

2. In their minds, the term “sales” conjures up a picture of dishonest sales people.

--They associate sales and marketing with high-pressure tactics, unscrupulous

individuals, and illicit wheeling and dealing.

3. In fact, “sales” is only one process in “marketing”

--Marketing actually involves a broad range of activities.

4. George Barna, Marketing The Church: “The basic thrust of marketing is simple: to

coordinate related activities intended to make both the producer and consumer

satisfied.”

a. Notice that marketing is a process – a series of activities – as opposed to a single

event.

b. Notice also that marketing has a GOAL: to fill a need.

E. Since we, too, are to be active in the Father’s business, marketing is an important

process for the church

1. What is church marketing?

2. Barna: “Church marketing is the performance of both business and ministry

activities that impact the church’s target audience with the intention of ministering

to and fulfilling their spiritual, social, emotional, or physical needs and thereby

satisfy the ministry goals of the church.”

3. This morning, we’re going to take a look at the four vital parts of church marketing.

I. THE PRODUCT

--Remember our definition of a business: “any enterprise that exists to promote a product”

A. In business terminology, the product is the thing that you offer to satisfy the consumer’s need

1. It can be tangible items like appliances, automobiles, or office supplies

2. It can also be intangible items like life insurance or medical care.

B. How many of us could accurately describe the church’s product?

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