What should a pastor and congregation do when market research contradicts the Word of God? Obviously, anyone who seeks God’s will by spending time in prayer and ministry of the Word will choose to follow God, not market analysis.
But what about the contradiction of how the pastor prefers to do things as he feels led by the Spirit, and there is no biblical guidance to say otherwise? What about the pastor’s, or anyone’s, preference for doing things that research shows to be ineffective in communicating a message?
Here is the reason for these questions.
The head of the church is Jesus Christ. His administrator is the Holy Spirit. The pastor of each church should be given to prayer and ministry of the Word. Through prayer the pastor is listening to the Holy Spirit guide his thoughts. Through the Word the pastor is receiving instruction from God. And through ministry of the Word, there is a confirming of the Holy Spirit’s voice.
Therefore, the solution is simple. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit about when and whether to use marketing analysis to make decisions. You are not bound to follow the research, only the Spirit.
And the Word of God does not prohibit the use of market insights into the behavior of people. Who would not want to know how to communicate more effectively and to reach more people with the Gospel? If anything, the use of market analysis is more consistent with the Biblical mandate to wisely engage in the great commission than not.
And if the mandate is in the Bible, the Holy Spirit will confirm it to be so.