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i heard that

October 3, 2008

I had an interesting conversation yesterday via Twitter with a guy who works very heavily in church marketing/communications.

Him: Just watched the promo video for The Call (http://thecall.com) California. Produced really well, but man, not sure I’m liking the approach.

Me: What don’t you like? (In 140 characters? – Ha.)

[He sent this as a direct message, which means no one cold read it but me.]
Him: I think the angle is a little too judgmental, critical and over-the-top. How would “outsiders” view this? I fear not too fondly.

Me: Which perhaps begs the question: When do we stop worrying about perceptions and just do what we’re called to do? Ever?

That was the end of it. I was genuinely asking, because I know he’s been in church marketing for a while and was interested in his thoughts, but he may have missed my message.

It’s an interesting idea. On the one hand, much of what a local church or Christian ministry produces should be created with non-Christians in mind. Even things that are not necessarily intended for non-Christians, because they’ll likely see it so we need to consider what it says about the body of Christ.

On the other hand, The Call – for one – is not a local church. Their focus is not primarily non-Christians and leading people to salvation. Their goal is to assemble tens of thousands of young Christians around a pretty radical call to fasting and prayer (on behalf of said non-Christians). Sure, non-Christians are going to see the video and the website, etc., but if you water-down that message you’re not going to get the kind of people you need to assemble from all over the country for a day of intercession.

So at what point do we stop worrying about what non-Christians think of our lingo, ideas, methods, etc. and just do what we (as a people, as the Church, as a specific ministry, as a local church – whatever) are called by God to do? At what point to we say, “You’re not going to get this – you might even think less of me for it – but it’s going to take massive prayer to shift this nation, so we’re doing it.”

I think there is a point when that happens, but it’s probably tough to identify.

And for local churches, that point may rarely come on the radar. Local churches are meant to share the love and grace and redemption of Christ with people, so of course you don’t want to ever create a billboard, web page, post card, flier, or anything that’s offensive or divisive.

What about ministries like The Call? Are they making the Church in America look bad?

I’m thinking as I type here. Ideas?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    October 8, 2008 1:12 pm

    this is a powerful call. I didn’t find the video over the top. its direct and truthful…even when you speak softly you still have to say the Word. Marriage is God’s plan. Homosexuality is wrong. God is present to heal, deliver and set things right. No hatred here…just the facts. Mike I.

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