In today’s world of marketing and public relations, more and more companies are relying on consumers to get the word out about a particular brand or company. When people have needs met and feel good about a product, they become passionate in sharing their discoveries with other people. In essence, they become very effective sales people.
I’m wondering how this marketing phenomenon translates into today’s Christian church.
One author gave a noteworthy attempt. Tim Sinclair tackled this subject with a book he published over the summer entitled “Branded: Sharing Jesus with a Consumer Culture”.
Sinclair referred to witnessing Christ as painting a portrait of Jesus. Big, broad strokes turns people off in today’s culture. Whether outdoor signs in front of churches with cute and catchy phrases, or bumper stickers on our car with Christian symbols, phrases or slogans, people are becoming more turned off than interested in these mass appeals. They mean well, but probably end up doing more harm than good. In its place, non-Christians will notice and be far more receptive to a thin brush which carefully outlines the details of what Jesus is really all about. This method does take time and effort, because it involves the pain-staking and scary proposition of forming relationships.
In this spiritually competitive environment, Christians are even more challenged to present the benefits of Christianity. We need to be prepared to answer the question, “Why is Jesus Christ not only relevant, but also necessary?” People are looking for passionate consumers and we live in an age right now where the brand of Jesus Christ is fading because too many Christians have lost their passion.
Evangelism (referred also as branding) means re-energizing our base and rebuilding our personal outreach strategies from the ground up. People are fed up with religion and are looking for real, honest, sincere people who have a living and active faith. They are looking for answers, not tired clichés that have little value to them. An increasingly secular world perceives evangelical Christians as weak-minded people who need a crutch, are going through a fad, or seem to treat Jesus as an imaginary friend. Who would be interested in that?
I truly believe that even though by outward appearance of total disinterest, I believe people are looking and searching for meaning in this increasingly fast-paced world. They are looking for answers, but not sure who to trust to provide them with truth. Instead of mass-marketing appeals, they are open to honest, sincere people who are open to being real and share how their faith is based on God’s promises. And they are not afraid to share their struggles, disappointments and pain.
If you want to be challenged, then I would highly recommend this short, thought-provoking book as a wise investment of your time. At the very least, it enters you into a good conversation with yourself and with others. You can find his website below.