Wednesday, May 3, 2006

The corporate take over

I am very interested in this item from a few angles. Zondervan has bought Youth Specialties. Now to be clear Z has been YS’s publishing house for 30 plus years so maybe there should be no alarm bells but…
When I did my research for my paper on postmodernism and the church, I noticed that 90% of the books that were recommended were published in Grand Rapids (Zondervan's headquarters) as well. Now YS has assured everyone that their unique prophetic voice in the youth ministry niche will remain unchanged. This is fine to a point. I know that with the resources that Z has YS stands to benefit from the deep pockets of a giant like Z. So maybe this is a good thing. I get worried though about the potential for homogenization. You know a kind of lowest common denominator that might emerge as decisions for direction arise. One commentator said,
“just great - so the local non-christian, publisher-of-christian-material bully is at it again. but i guess since you are all still employed, we are the only ones who suffer in the end…
congrats - and hoping i’m wrong”

A little harsh – probably! But I think this guy makes a good point about the way Christian lit./publishing is big business. And there are many people trying to do authentic ministry who do not have the luxury of large financial resources to ‘affirm’ their legitimacy in ministry. How many O.T. prophets, for instance, could have won a popularity contest? Does anybody else wonder about these things?

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