Recently in the Church Marketing Lab, a user posted a design that created a bit of controversy. The design was a play on the popular controversial book, Fifty Shades of Grey. The Lab member stated that the purpose of the posted graphic is “to attract people to hear the Gospel message of Jesus Christ by teaching what scripture really says about the following topics: Pornography, Homosexuality, Abortion and Sex.”
The ensuing discussion centered around the appropriateness for those of us in church communications to use trending (and even controversial) topics to attempt to get people in the door. Several people felt it is extremely vital to our success as church marketers to be relevant by leveraging popular culture in our marketing efforts. Others comments indicated that relevance isn’t based on pop culture and, in trying to follow the whims of society we become gimmicky.
Here at Church Marketing Sucks, we see the value in both arguments. Jesus and Paul set an example for us in Scripture of engaging people in their current context. However, we do need to use caution so that we aren’t pulling a “bait-n-switch” on people. The message of hope that we bring has a power on its own that people are already searching for, so gimmicks probably aren’t needed.
What we love about the Lab is how it allows this type of dialog to take place in a healthy way. Often we grow the most through others challenging our beliefs. The collective wisdom of the group in the Lab is almost always more valuable than that of an individual.
Jump over to the Lab and add your voice to the conversation! Post your graphics and leave some constructive feedback for someone else.