Ever since I’ve been in ministry, I’ve been inundated with various marketing.  You’re sanctuary should look like this.  Your youth ministry should do this study.  Your children’s ministry should sing these songs.  You need to come this conference because you’re probably lacking (fill in the blank) skill.  It comes in all forms: e-mails, phone calls, junk mail, and my all-time favorite, they actually send the product with an invoice that states, “Preview this and if you do not like it, just send it back.  If we do not receive it in 2 weeks we’ll send you a bill.”  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve forgotten to send those things back until I got the bill.

I’d be a liar if I said marketing is of the devil and should be banned.  I’m in the marketing “business”.  Our church has a website and ads in the local paper and Christian radio station, and chances are at some point in the next few months, maybe weeks, we’ll send out a flyer for some event.  I want people to come to my church and discover God just like the above mentioned companies want me to buy their products or attend their events.  The most training I’ve really had in marketing was in a class in high school.  Most advertising I’ve received in my life have followed most of the basic concepts I learned in that one class.  Make sure you reach your target audience; make the pictures look nice and modern; make the wording easy to read and understand; use bright colors that attract people; limit your use of negative words and phrases, etc.

While I was reading the Bible the other day, I thought to myself, “Christ would have failed Marketing 101.”  When we choose to follow Christ, there is freedom, there is hope, there is joy, there’s a crown, there’s heaven, a new earth, a new Jerusalem (talk to your pastor to learn more about these things).  But, seriously, look at some of these phrases Christ uses when describing what we need to do or what will happen if we follow Christ:

“Everyone will hate you because of me” (Matthew 10:22, Mark 13:13, Luke 21:17)

“You will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death” (Matthew 24:9)

Christ’s response to a guy who wanted to bury his father before following Christ, “Let the dead bury their own dead” and then to a person who wanted to say good-bye to his family first, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59-62)

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26)

After challenging a rich person to sell all they had to follow him and that rich person refusing to do it, Christ says, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!  Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:18-25)

This doesn’t even include all the things he said to the religious zealots of the day.  Seriously, this is anti-Marketing 101!  This would be similar to a company putting out complaints against them with the testimonials in an advertisement.  Yet Christ had many followers.  What was the secret to Christ’s success?  It’s not a secret…it’s the truth.  He told the truth.

People love the truth.  For me, personally, I would love it if companies came out and showed me everything about the product before I purchased it.  The good, the bad and the ugly so I can truly decided if I want this product.  Christ did it…he laid it all out there so we could know everything it would take to follow him allowing us to make the decision completely on our own.

The cost is shown above in black and white…you buyin’?  If so for the first time, click here.

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