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He Was Researching the Decline of Churches in America and Noticed a Parallel That Truly Stunned Him

A ministry expert who has spent years studying churches and who recently produced a documentary about the overall decline of congregations in America said that he was shocked to uncover a parallel between what has happened to a well-known American business and to American Christianity more broadly.

Thom Schultz, CEO of Group Publishing and director of the film ”When God Left the Building,” recently told The Church Boys podcast that he noticed some stunning comparisons between the paths of the Eastman Kodak Company and the collective Christian church.

“We wound up, during the course of making the film, running into the example of what happened to another big American institution — not the church, but in this case the Eastman Kodak company,” Schultz said. “That story of the rise and fall of Kodak that we dug into had so many parallels to what’s happening in the church that it just stunned us.”

The director said that his team located the chief engineer at Kodak during the time in which digital photography emerged, explaining how the company’s purported handling of that technology directly led to its decline in pertinence.

“He witnessed firsthand how that company tried to sideline and put on the back shelf digital photography, hoping that their legacy business [of] film and paper and chemicals would continue,” Schultz said, explaining that the engineer detailed the company’s decisions over time — choices and moves that the filmmaker said are reminiscent to what’s happening inside churches today.

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July 2020


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