False Advertising

August 5, 2004 by

“The greatest challenge the church faces today is to be authentic disciples of Jesus. … That’s one reason why the statistics on Christians generally don’t differ from the statistics on non-Christians. We’re not living a different life.” -Dallas Willard (RelevantMagazine.com)

Christians are walking billboards for the church, and too often it’s a case of false advertising. Church marketing sucks, but so do we. We’re a sinful and broken people, but half the time we can’t admit it. We put on an air of perfection, forgetting that in our brokenness we are complete. The church is for the broken, not the perfect.

Yet rather than accept our imperfection and live lives transformed by grace, we pretend to be perfect and wallow in our sin.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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16 Responses to “False Advertising”

  • Steve K.
    September 10, 2004

    Word! I love Dallas Willard. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing that, Kevin!


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  • Steve Mason
    October 17, 2005

    hey check out our blogs and tell me if they are to churchy!
    http://www.planetstudentministries.blogspot.com
    http://www.kariosworshipexprience.blogspot.com


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  • Steve
    December 22, 2005

    Wow, only 2 comments and they’re both from Steve’s. I am going to complete the trifecta! I love Dallas Willard as well, and am currently slowly digesting the Divine Conspiracy. Amen and amen!
    “These 3 Steve’s…”, er…I mean kings.


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  • David
    February 8, 2006

    There is a great book called “The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience” relating to just this idea . . . 1 Tim (4:12)


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  • Adam
    June 28, 2006

    Interessting to me that so few have anything to offer in comment to this post. I think it may be because it can’t be argued with. I love your site here, and I enjoy reading and gleening from it, but I’ve noticed the trend that some people love hot-button issues when they can accuse someone else of being wrong, but don’t like to talk about hard truths like our sinful depravity.


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  • Todd S Erickson
    January 7, 2007

    I think that another collary to this discussion (semantic nuclear bombs aside) is the current western concept of the church as an entity rather than a body, and all of the baggage that goes with that that has nothing to do with the rest of our lives.
    If most evangelical Christians associate themselves with activities at a particular building on Sundays, and all activities for the rest of the week devolve from that activity, then all of their activities actually, at heart, advertise for that building and its activities… not for Christ.
    But if we are all Christians, of one body (those of us who have surrendered to our Lord Jesus, and who seek to more closely reflect His image and behaviour to the world) then the church and it’s sunday activities are the rest of that, rather than the impetus…


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  • Amy Deelg
    July 10, 2007

    I believe that “church” is where people of God can always run for help. Yes, we ave the nicest church in the world-with great architecture and the likes but what good it is if we dont let our unfortunate brothers and sisters to come in for shelter. In times of crisis, we must forget about politics and religion and focus on helping one another


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  • Amy Deelg
    July 10, 2007

    I believe that “church” is where people of God can always run for help. Yes, we ave the nicest church in the world-with great architecture and the likes but what good it is if we dont let our unfortunate brothers and sisters to come in for shelter. In times of crisis, we must forget about politics and religion and focus on helping one another


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  • Amy Deelg
    July 10, 2007

    I believe that “church” is where people of God can always run for help. Yes, we ave the nicest church in the world-with great architecture and the likes but what good it is if we dont let our unfortunate brothers and sisters to come in for shelter. In times of crisis, we must forget about politics and religion and focus on helping one another


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  • Amy Deelg
    July 10, 2007

    I believe that “church” is where people of God can always run for help. Yes, we ave the nicest church in the world-with great architecture and the likes but what good it is if we dont let our unfortunate brothers and sisters to come in for shelter. In times of crisis, we must forget about politics and religion and focus on helping one another


     | Permalink
  • Amy Deelg
    July 10, 2007

    I believe that “church” is where people of God can always run for help. Yes, we ave the nicest church in the world-with great architecture and the likes but what good it is if we dont let our unfortunate brothers and sisters to come in for shelter. In times of crisis, we must forget about politics and religion and focus on helping one another


     | Permalink
  • Amy Deelg
    July 10, 2007

    I believe that “church” is where people of God can always run for help. Yes, we ave the nicest church in the world-with great architecture and the likes but what good it is if we dont let our unfortunate brothers and sisters to come in for shelter. In times of crisis, we must forget about politics and religion and focus on helping one another


     | Permalink
  • Amy Deelg
    July 10, 2007

    I believe that “church” is where people of God can always run for help. Yes, we ave the nicest church in the world-with great architecture and the likes but what good it is if we dont let our unfortunate brothers and sisters to come in for shelter. In times of crisis, we must forget about politics and religion and focus on helping one another


     | Permalink
  • Amy Deelg
    July 10, 2007

    I believe that “church” is where people of God can always run for help. Yes, we ave the nicest church in the world-with great architecture and the likes but what good it is if we dont let our unfortunate brothers and sisters to come in for shelter. In times of crisis, we must forget about politics and religion and focus on helping one another


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  • Rob Adcox
    September 18, 2008

    Amy makes a good point. Here in the states, everyone has become so conditioned to thinking in terms of left/right that we have forgotten to think in terms of right/wrong. Churches here routinely ignore the needs of the poor and the ill. I walk into a church and I see very expensive furnishings and carpet, and I marvel at the luxury of it all. Then I wonder how many people could have been helped with all the money and effort that went into building such marvelous palaces. I saw most of it in Minnesota, but I’ve seen it in many states here.
    We need to remember that Jesus didn’t have a gold card stuffed in His pocket, but look at what He accomplished. The phoniness of “the church” sickens me. “The church” is in business for itself.
    Ok, I’ll step aside for the moment while you bristle and throw tomatoes at me.


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  • Crystal
    July 27, 2010

    Wow, so much revelation in just a short post.
    “Christians are walking billboards for the church, and too often it’s a case of false advertising.”


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