There’s a story that caught my attention, raises some questions and points to a trend in some church circles.
A church has launched a campaign that includes billboards that read “We hate church … as usual.” Of course the message is that this church has something different and for those that are disenfranchised by the church they are doing it in a way that will prove you wrong.
I wonder if this indeed reaches those who have left the church, or if it just reinforces some of the reasons they left, maybe even letting them know it’s OK.
Is the best way to grow the church by pointing out the faults of other churches? My drink of choice is Diet Coke. I drink it because I like it, not because I don’t like Pepsi or Sprite. I choose to consume it because I prefer it.
Using that same analogy, are Pepsi and Coke allies or competitors? Is it really good church to compete against one another? Isn’t it enough that we compete with the things of the world, do we really need to add the church down the street to our list of detractors?
On the other hand, there are too many people that have been hurt by the church for a variety of reasons and I desperately want the church to reach out to them. So I understand and applaud the underlying desire of this church and maybe the best way to reach this group is to admit our shortcomings and faults.
During Christmas we did a turkey giveaway campaign for one of the churches we work with, the headline copy being “We Realize The Church Has At Times Acted Like A Bunch Of Turkeys … now we’d just like to give you one.” It was a big hit with both the community and all the local churches (which we discussed the concept with as it was developing). So I do think it’s OK to not take ourselves too seriously and be real with people. A key point in this campaign was that we, in effect, had a green light from the other churches in the area.
OK, it’s your turn. Is this a great example of grabbing people’s attention or is it just another smear campaign?