May 17, 2010

Marketing & Hype vs Sharing Christ

Many Christians and churches today have adopted a marketing style approach to their "witnessing" or "evangelism", which is not actually evangelism at all. Most of these programs are designed and implemented to try to raise awareness of the church in the community and to try to attract them to the church. One of our old churches that we attended used to hand out coffee cups filled with other small gifts and with the name, address, and phone number of the church to people who recently moved into the area near the church. Others hand out free water at public events with the name and info. of the church on the bottle; others give out free hugs with the hope to talk about their church to the person; others try giving out food or clothes and invite the people to the church. Don't get me wrong, these are all good ideas to reach out to people outside of the church. We should be innovative and try to do whatever it takes to reach out to people in God's love.

This all sounds ok and right at first, to our human minds. Nothing wrong with trying to make people aware of your church and trying to attract them to visit right ? Maybe when they visit they will hear the pastor preach the Gospel and become a Christian (although this would not even happen in many churches today). The problem is that the goal is not on target and not in line with what Jesus told us to do. He tells us in Matthew 4:19 to follow Him and He will make us fishers of men. A fisher of men is not a person who tries to invite or attract someone else to their church, it is a person who actively shares the Gospel of Christ with others in their daily lives. And in Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus tells us to go and market or hype our church ? No, He tells us to go and make disciples. Paul talks about how we (the church) have the responsibility of taking the message of the Gospel to others (2 Corinthians 5:19). Only talking about your church and not about Jesus is falling short of the goal, and no person will ever be saved by going to your church.

Another problem with this marketing & hype approach is that church members will not be true followers of Christ and actively sharing the Gospel, they will only be at best marketers who merely invite someone to the church and try to "market or sell" the church to others. They will not learn how to share Christ with others. One of the other problems with this approach is that many lost people who have not truly trusted & received Christ as their Lord and Savior have no interest in going to a church. They are lost - they have no interest in God and the things of God. According to Acts 26:17-18 their eyes are closed, they are in darkness, and they are even "under the power of Satan". Most lost people will not step foot in a church. You can try to market it all you want, they will not come. If someone shares Christ with them and they sincerely put their faith in Him and receive Him as Lord and Savior, then the Holy Spirit will begin to work in their heart and will begin to change their attitudes and desires.

What I am saying is that the goal should be to share Jesus with the person first, and then the church. Share the Gospel in the love and power of the Holy Spirit, and then leave the results in God's hands. Then speak to the person about the need to have a good church so they can grow in their relationship with the Lord, and to learn His special plan for their life, and to become all He wants them to be.

1 comment:

The Astral Cowboy said...

To be a Christian is to emulate Christ, right?

A lady once told me that all the light needs to do to chase away the darkness is to BE. The best way to bring people to your point of view is to BE and have them desire to have the same state of BEing.