Marketing Jesus

Mark Galli of Christianity Today nails it:

Along the way—in sermons, in church slogans, and implicit in special evangelistic or missional events—are the promises. The therapeutic: Things will go better with Jesus. The practical: You'll find ideas for life. The transformational: You will be all that you can be. And whether the church is draped in the Disney-like efficiency of the megachurch or the counterculture of hipster rebellion, coolness is often an implicit part of the mix.

This should not shock or alarm us. Immersed as we are in a Super Bowl culture, what else is a church supposed to do? We think we have a "product" (albeit head and shoulders above any other product) to "sell." And we think we have to use good marketing if we're going to get people to buy into Jesus. Though I'm clearly no fan of this approach, let's face it: it often works. Many people come to faith and join churches by such means (even if they then have to spend years unlearning what such a method implies: that faith in Christ is a deal or transaction). So while I poke fun, I don't think it wise to condemn a method a gracious God is willing to stoop to use.
But he does believe there is a better way:

For one, we can stop marketing the faith as if it were a product in the marketplace. We can stop thinking it our job to convince or cajole people.
This barely scratches the surface of what he said, so really you should just read it all. A very insightful piece.

1 comment:

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