Church was good yesterday. When you work in the church...Sunday is often more of a workday then a day or worship and rest. Yesterday was different though and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
The discussion from Sunday school got me thinking about how we market Jesus. I read a lot every day. Not so much books, but blogs. I like to read what other people in ministry are writing about and thinking about on a daily basis. I read a lot of Mark Oestricher from Youth Specialties. I read a couple of professor blogs from various Christian colleges. But I read one that is interesting. Church Marketing Sucks has me divided a lot of the time. Sometimes they say a lot of good stuff that I agree with and think "Wow! That's cutting edge and I think thats what the church needs!" and there are times when I'm like "What? You might as well call yourself Wal-mart Christian Church!"
Their most recent article didn't set well with me and of course I was compelled to comment.
The problem with church marketing today is too broad of a topic to cover in just one short post. But one thing that sticks out to me is that it makes Christians lazy. A statistic that I heard over and over again in Bible College: 90% of the work done at a church is done by 10% of the people. Why? I think a couple of reasons. 1) because they are used to having their ministers and other paid staff do it 2) lack of spiritual maturity and 3) the church "markets" stuff so people don't have to do it!
I'm all about trying to make our church more visitor accessible, but not to the point where we are abstaining from our personal responsibility as Christians to bring the Gospel to other people! When we "market Jesus", we are making things easier to the point that it encourages laziness and we don't even know it!
Let me give a fictional example. Let's say that Easyroad Christian Church says "We want to bring more people into the church" so their answer is "Let's have a Christmas Musical! We can have a big complicated program and bring the unchurched in that way!" So they do, and they have an altar call and 10 people come and accept the Lord! A couple of questions: How committed are those people that came to know Christ? They're in a mass of people they don't know. No relationships to keep them grounded, committed and accountable. How are those people going to be taught and discipled? Most of the time what happens is "Hey! You're a Christian! There's a party going on in heaven! See you on Sunday!" and thats it!
No individual had to come and form a relationship with that person. That baby Christian has no foundation.
We need personal responsibility in each Christian to fulfill Matthew 28. It is not the "church's" job to evangelize, but the individual Christian.
Did Jesus say "Go into all the earth, bringing people to church" ? No. He said "Go and make disciples".
Monday, January 08, 2007