Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Marketing Jesus

As many of you know, I now work in marketing.  I spend several hours a week learning and listening to others as they come up with ideas and ways to aid in the selling process.  It's quite interesting, actually, to hear about all the things we, as consumers, never really think about but effect us in so many ways.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I remembered someone once telling me how the church likes to market Jesus. He elaborated on it a bit and I thought I understood pretty well then, but in light of my new job, I find it more and more interesting how we believe we have to sell Jesus (or the church) to people.

As I think about who Jesus is, I don't really see Him as someone who needs a marketing team.  He did a pretty good job of marketing Himself and even those who were able to see first hand many of the miraculous things He did, didn't necessarily believe right away.   I don't think Jesus really wanted to be marketed.  He wasn't a product to be sold or bought into.  He didn't even come to make our lives here easy, which if you know anything about commercials, anything can make your life easier if you pay for it. 

Why do we feel we have to shape Jesus into someone we can sell. We like to change who He is; make Him fit in our box, our culture. Could it be Jesus would rather us just follow Him, and let His light shine through us so that others can see?  Could it be that we need to quit calling it "My Story," and call it something like "The Story of What God Has Done in Me?"

On the other hand, maybe we do need to do a good job of marketing the church.  Maybe marketing is the wrong word, but at least a little PR work. Unfortunately for many churches they get wrapped up in the rules and making everyone look good, that they forget to let people know we are all people. We all make mistakes.  We all have a past.  I think the church needs to let people see Jesus for who He is and what He can do in our lives in spite of our past.  Let people see that we are a work in progress and not a shinning perfect example of perfection. 

This doesn't give the church the opportunity to be sloppy and lazy though.  The church has to be on its game when it comes to organization and leadership.  Sure mistakes will happen from time to time, but Jesus was a great leader.  He always had a plan and everything He did fell into that plan.  I think there is a fine line to walk when it comes to the church because we want people to know they can come as they are, just as we come as we are.  On the other hand, we want to let people know we are serious about our service to God and that it's not just something we do, but that it is what we do.

Anyway, I think it is time to evaluate our lives and see if we are busy trying to market Jesus to others or if we are sitting at His feet trying to learn from Him.

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