Mark Cuban as church thinker

It is not often Mark Cuban gets me thinking about church, but his blog post about the media and sports teams got me thinking.

His argument is simple. The Mavericks, Cuban’s basketball team, needs newspaper reporters and TV reporters in the locker room after games because a significant portion of the Mavericks fan base – and a wealthy one – never goes online to learn about the team. They read the paper and watch TV. If the team wants them to be engaged and informed, it has to go through the old media.

But the story is different with Internet reporters. Cuban argues that he does not need reporters from big sports web sites because he can reach their readers just as well – if not better – than the web sites. In other words, he does not need those media outlets because they do not really control their audience. He argues as well that if newspapers migrate to a totally online model, they will become similarly redundant.

This gave me a few thoughts.

First, the church certainly has it newspaper and TV people. These are the older generations who are not going to adopt new ways of doing things. And although they are aging, they tend to have a lot of resources that the church needs – not just money but also time and talent.

Second, and somewhat conversely, it may be that the Internet generation is like Mark Cuban. It may be deciding it does not need the church to make the connections it wants to make. Even if the church moves from its “newpaper” days to an “online” world, it may find it gains no more traction.

I’m not sure what the implications are. I’m sure the analogies do not all work here and there are undoubtedly some flaws in my attempts to translate. Nonetheless, I think there is some wheat growing in and among the weeds.

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