Marketing the Gospel
This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
From Christianity Today on evangelism as marketing:
Should it surprise us that in this era, pastors increasingly think of themselves as 'managers,' 'leaders,' and 'CEOs' of 'dynamic and growing congregations,' rather than as shepherds, teachers, and servants of people who need to know God? And that preaching has become less an exposition of the gospel of Jesus' death and resurrection and more often practical lessons that offer a lot of 'take-away value,' presented in an efficient, friendly manner, as if we were selling cheeseburgers, fries, and a shake?…
Today churches large and small (the small imitating the large) have unthinkingly adopted a marketing mentality that, it turns out, subverts rather than promotes the gospel. We inadvertently imply that the church benefits as much from the spiritual transaction as does the recipient. Marketing, by its very nature, contradicts the essence of the gospel lifestyle of Jesus, who came not to be served, but to expend his life for others—no exchange implied or expected.
How can we possibly communicate the radical, self-giving love of God to our culture if we continue to use a method that by its very nature replaces the notions of sacrificial service for an exchange of goods and services?