Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"Wake the neighbors, get the word out...!"

As usual, I came home from a normal day's work and stopped by mailbox to look for the bills. To my surprise I received a mailer for a new church in town. This isn't something altogether different, as I have seen these before. However, I've never seen this type of marketing for a Church. The main slogan read, "COMING TO A THEATER NEAR YOU"; I've never seen the type of advertising that was offered here. If that wasn't enough to catch you off guard as a catchphrase for a church, the rest went on to say, "The music rocks, the teaching is relevant, and the kids will have a blast. We guarantee a 100% boredom-free morning."

Now obviously there are some negative implications noted in the above statement. First, they assume, traditional church music is normally mundane and lackluster. Also, church teaching is usually irrelevant and extraneous. Furthermore, kids are usually disinterested with their programs. And last but not least, church as a whole is usually a place of complete boredom.

I don't want to get too critical of this church, for I admit that I haven't attended this church, nor do I know anyone personally on the staff, but I must say that this does make me wonder. I mean, there wasn't a single mention of Christ in this mailer in any way. Now, they may be going under the assumption, being that we are in the Bible-Belt, that everyone in this area (Raleigh, NC) already knows what "church" is supposed to be about, namely Christ. But I then went on the website (, and not only was the first thing I saw a $100 bill (link), but their website as a whole looked more like an add for jeans than it did a church devoted to God.

While I completely understand that their intention not to look like a traditional church, this does warrant some questioning:

  1. Should we even market the church at all?
  2. If so, should we attempt to capitalize on the apparent demise of other less exciting churches?
  3. Does it make sense to initially leave the direct reason for church [Christ] out of the equation, then introduce him through the back door? (ex. bait and switch)
  4. Should we dress church up to not look like "church," then show them the love of Christ afterward?
  5. How would the Jesus or the Apostle Paul react to such this apparent Gospel-masquerading?
I've said it before, I by no means believe that there is a "right" way to do church. For Mars Hill Church in Seattle is totally unorthodox in their practice of church; rather quite contemporary in their approach. But they by no means shy away from the real purpose of what and why they do church. I encourage you to visit the site and see for yourself. Let me know your thoughts on these things.

What do you think? Is this an acceptable practice?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree and I really dislike those churches. To get caught up in the popularity and accessibility of Christianity, to try to win all people, is to create a bunch of converts that are like the seeds sown on good soil that sprout quickly, only to get choked out by the thorns., or what have you. Shallow doctrine, as it were.