I just hung up the phone with the second telemarketer of the day...I've been in the office for two and a half hours now. 9 times out of 10 this is why the church office phone rings. Someone has something that will make my congregation grow deeper in their relationship with God. My youth group can now understand how to connect with God more fully. My staff's cell phone plan can lower it's cost if I switch.
When I was dreaming about ministry sitting behind a desk in seminary (yes, seminary students do that), I never realized how much business is crammed into ministry. You have to squint a little, tilt your head to the left and push that right eyelid closed almost and stare at it, but if you look close you can see business all over ministry. It shows up in all dollar signs. As I hung up the phone with a person wanting to sell the newest Youth Ministry Product by informing him we don't have a "youth pastor", I wondered if it was always like this?
In the 1950s did church's get phone calls from companies offering the newest Bible Study? Were they getting offers to bring the best new speaker to their church for a revival? It probably wasn't exactly the same, but I am sure it was there. Today it is all up in your face and I have learned to sound bored and unapproachable as I answer the phone.
The truth is ever since people have been worshiping, there is someone out there trying to make money off of it. The motives haven't changed only the avenues they travel on. I guess it is just something they don't tell you about in seminary.