My Lame Sex Life Campaign

February 15, 2006 by billboard, next to a Hooters restaurant.This entry isn’t an apology, but it is all about sex. That famous simply strategic church in South Bend, Ind., Granger Community Church, has launched a new campaign to promote a sermon series: People are being pushed to the web site through four area billboards and cinema advertising (and you’ve just got to love the location of the billboard pictured above).

Granger Communications Director Kem Meyer is talking about the campaign, including how the campaign was produced and the differences between two promotional pages, one for people coming from the advertising, another for people coming from within the church. Fellow GCCer Tony Morgan is also talking about the campaign, though you’ll have to wait for the Simply Strategic podcast on Friday for anything more than an admission that those aren’t his feet in the billboard picture.

We’ve looked at a similar campaign in Austin, Texas with a slogan, but other churches have also done and (the site is down, but it’s mentioned in a blurb down the page).

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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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17 Responses to “My Lame Sex Life Campaign”

  • Nate K
    February 15, 2006

    Well, aside from having to wait through the lame flash intro, I found the placement of a few things to be interesting. Their header says ‘Pure Sex’ and the line below it says ‘We’re not afraid to talk about it’. Then, reading from Left to Right the next thing I read is ‘Bring the kids, it will be the best hour of their week’. I don’t know why, that just kinda struck me funny. Like it should be on Jay Leno headlines or something.

  • Nathan Kellett
    February 15, 2006

    I’m not too sure why you have a problem with this, if it brings unchurched people in, then why not? If a lost person is drawn in by the subject matter, and gets saved, what is wrong?

    February 16, 2006

    Healing the lame

    In one sense, anyway: At least they didn’t actually mention me by name. (Via Church Marketing Sucks. Yes, really.)…

  • Hailey
    February 16, 2006

    I would expect that type of campaign from Hooters but not a church. They must feel that even bad press is good. And what about the young kids that type in that web address and spell it wrong (which I did) and get a porn site…is that where the church should be directing people. there are enough people with porn addictions….I bet they like what that billboard portrays.

  • Jason S
    February 17, 2006

    If you’ve ever been to Granger, which I have, then you would know that they have one of the most innovative, engaging children’s ministries around. I’m thinking that this is why they said “bring the kids.” I think this is a very creative, direct way to address love and marriage.
    It’s not their fault that people can’t type. & if their parents don’t have protection on the computer to screen out porn then they probably already know where to find that stuff anyways.
    God created sex. He’s for it! People should know how He intended for us to experience it. Rock on Granger!

  • Dennis Daniel
    February 18, 2006

    The Bible teaches us that the purpose of the church is for perfecting and edifying the body of Christ.
    No question this marketing scheme is both savvy and wily from the churches perspective and as it satisfies the desires of the flesh will probably attract a lot of people that have no interest in the Word of God.
    The apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth 1 Cor.2:4 stated “that his speech and preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power”. It is dangerous for the church to use the marketing techniques of the world. By doing so, you severely restrict the Spirit and His power in doing what God intends on doing in the church.

  • Pastor Gene
    February 18, 2006

    Have any of you read Song of Songs? God is definitely for sex, as He intended it. Like it or not, almost all of the “major” sins that folks get bent out of shape about are ultimately tied to sex. Think about it, homosexuality, abortion, adultery, pornography, STD’s, pre-marital sex – these are the ones everyone seems to focus on. So far, most of what churches do about it is say don’t do it. I try that with my son, “Joshua, don’t throw the ball at the cat.” He’s going to hum that thing as hard as he can. Even at two, human nature has to do what we are told not to do. We need a better approach. I’ve seen a whole lot of lives wrecked because of sex outside of God’s plan. Maybe Granger is going to help do something positive with this series. Maybe not. But I suspect that we’d all be better off praying for their success, rather than getting “spiritual” and critical.
    For the one who says that the billboard is going to cause porn addicts problems, please allow me to share a couple of things. I worked in a home for troubled teenage boys. About half of our population were sexual offenders, because our therapist was really good with that area of addiction. We had a guy who began molesting his sister when she was six weeks old, which was probably the age, he was molested. This guy had problems just seeing the word “sex” or for that matter “ex”. Does that mean that he should never read again? No. Avoiding is never the answer. Dealing with the issue one has, understanding how addictions work and how to defeat them is the answer. I’m sure one could use one of the passages about causing someone to stumble applies here. And maybe they would be right. But, the person that would be triggered by this ad, would have already been triggered by just walking down the street and seeing someone of the opposite gender. You can’t go through life with your eyes closed.
    In response to the one saying we shouldn’t use the world’s methods, I agree to a point. But, I think 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 might apply here. Are they doing all things so that they might win some?
    You know, there are a lot of folks that accuse Christians and beat us down. There is no need for fellow brothers and sisters to do that.
    Sorry this is so long. I guess it’s a preacher thing.

  • Anthony
    February 19, 2006

    Jesus spoke in terms that people could understand and about things that mattered to them — farmers, fishermen, sheep herders, vine dressers, tax collectors, etc.
    Sex is a topic that will connect with a LOT of people and it is a topic that people usually disassociate with God, the Bible, and the Church… yet, we know that the only way to have a truly blessed sex life (or any other kind of life — money, work, etc) is to handle it by the guidelines that God provides.
    Every church MUST maintain the integrity of the Word of God – but
    Every church has its own calling, identity, gifting and anointing. If this church has been called to connect to its area in this way – more power to them — if they are just trying to “generate buzz” then they will have to answer for that as well.

  • Brianne
    February 19, 2006

    I happened upon this page while searching to learn more about the campaign I had heard about from my husband. He was recently at Granger for a conference and was so inspired by what they are doing to reach out to the community as a whole, especially non-beleivers. God created the church as a way for believers to commune with him and each other yes, but also to spread his love to those who do not know him. Sometimes the best way to do this is to come from a place that isn’t judegemental and that they will not necessarily see as “church outreach” (at least not from the get go). I applaud Granger’s inventive use of marketing that will grab the attention of not just churchgoers but those that truly need their attention grabbed, in any way possible. WHY someone who doesn’t know Christ is at church is not the issue, what matters is that they are there and might get a message that will allow God to work in their life in a completely unexpected way.

  • Shawn
    February 19, 2006

    My wife and I have been attending Granger Community Church for about Four years. One thing that I have learned in that time is that every message they give has scripture to back it up. Just as this series will. Don’t you get it, this is exactly what satan wants. For people to sweep this topic under the rug and never talk about it. And for those of you who say it is, but at home and not at church, I say then why is it not working. I belive that the people who need to here this message the most are people who don’t know Christ. That is what this church is all about. Bringing “UNCHURCHED” people to Christ. I know, I used to be one.
    So to my fellow christians out there, I say before you condem us, please pray for us, and for the many many people that will soon find out that GOD loves them right where they are, but too much to leave them there.

  • michael
    February 21, 2006

    i’ve read a lot of comments similar to “we shouldn’t uses the marketing techniques of the world.”
    I’m not sure what this means. Aren’t marketing techniques a-moral, like music without words? Just because the world does something, does that make a church worldly if they do the same things or adopt similar strategies.
    and the bigger picture here is just because the world does something, does that automatically make it off limits to Christians?
    I’m no marketing expert, but I believe certain marketing principles are true no matter how they are applied. i don’t think there’s such a thing as worldly marketing and christian marketing.

  • Matthew
    February 21, 2006

    Over the last 2 years I have been in the unique position of working with churches who are converting to a new church management system. I have implemented over 40 churches across the country from Bible churches to Assembly of God churches. Granger stood out from the moment I spoke with them on the phone. The way they do church has made me wish I lived in South Bend. I currently attend Fellowship Church in Grapevine Texas which is one of the most dynamic churches in the country. We did a similar series last year called “Just Lust” that was very similar in nature to the Granger series. It was very convicting to me as well as being very beneficial to my marriage. I don’t think these messages are just for the un-churched. I grew up in a very strong Christian household but sex was only mentioned in a conversation that ended in “don’t do it”. For so long it seemed to be something sneaky that I got to do with my wife. It was so refreshing to hear in church that it wasn’t dirty or cheap but something special that God planned for me from the beginning.

  • Julian Richter
    May 22, 2006

    Our pastors will be giving a 5-week series entitled “Real Sex” in June with similar content. I appreciated reading about how Granger did publicity for their series. We won’t be doing billboards, but these examples gave me motivation to do newspaper ads and invitation cards, and to aim them at the unchurched people in our community.

  • John
    March 12, 2007

    People who tell us not to use the marketing of the world say things like that our of respect for the message of the gospel. That I respect greatly. However, they just don’t understand. They believe that the church is somehow separate from the rest of life. That’s the problem. Just as Paul (and even Jesus for that matter) used all the modern marketing techniques of their day, so too should we keep ourselves up-to-date. Michael, I’ve visited Fellowship Church many times, they get-it in many ways. Churches are extremely susceptible to creating a sub-culture and getting stuck there. I mean just look at the churches that have different “styles of worship.” The next group will come along and mimic the current culture, but then they stick with that style and so they have created a walled city that they are comfortable with. Churches need to be pliable, fluid, and malleable constantly changing and adapting to connect with the culture in which they live, while always accurately reflecting Jesus Christ. Everything else is just ego…

  • Jess from Sydney, Australia
    September 19, 2009

    I think it is wrong for religions to do marketing. Isn’t it a personal choice to attend church? I don’t think people should be attending church because there’s a ‘cool’ billboard and a free lolly at the front door.
    Religions should keep to themselves and stop trying to pull in others. Just today I had a woman knocking at my door insisting that I attend church. It is my personal choice what I do with my life, and I believe what I do is healthy and good for me. It is a personal choice so stop pushing it onto others!

  • Jess from Sydney, Australia
    September 19, 2009

    Adding to that, homosexuality and transexuality is not wrong. It is genetic and built into an individuals brain. Does that not mean it is ‘part of God plan’ ??
    Humans are a type of animal, so that is why we feel lust for others – without sexual desire we would not reproduce.

  • nizer
    July 18, 2010

    Wow. why even get married? It is too late if children are present. Selfishness and ignorance is what the kids get for being born. Without love and understanding we tread through years of being ignored not wanting to forsake and give up on them. Torment turns to mental illness and destroys the family for want of physical affection that was the promise forever.

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