Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Marketing Mess

A member of our congregation passed along an article to me recently about a rabbi employing some marketing and business strategy. It was interesting to me. It was interesting because this idea of marketing makes so many people in the church squeamish. Interesting that I think the article opened up an option because it came from someone outside of us (a Jewish Rabbi). So it got me to thinking some about marketing and the church.

In fact, it led me to a conversation with a friend of mine and she helped open my eyes a little further. As we exchanged e-mails I expressed my curiosity about church people's hesitation for marketing especially in light of last weeks readings in worship that were rife with words like, "testify." Aren't testimonies by and large the back bone of marketing?

"I got this and look at how my life has changed!"
"It was spellbinding!"
"Look at what we've got. You need it."

It struck me as well that this discussion was coming in the middle of Epiphany, that in large part is about pointing towards Jesus. In a crude sort of way, I suppose, we are actually called to advertise for Jesus, to promote God.

That's where my friend helped take me another step by pointing out that: "Maybe the problem is that we don't believe people need or want what we've 'got.'...And maybe that's because WE don't believe what we've 'got.'" I fear that just might be the crux of the problem, either we don't know or don't believe what we've "got"... I mean REALLY know it.

That makes me kind of sad because we have been given absolutely THE GREATEST gift imaginable. I pray that God would become profoundly real in your life... to the point that you will want to shout it from the mountain tops!

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