Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Church's Attempt to Be Cool

I saw this billboard the other day as I was driving that advertised a community church reading, "A church for people who do not like church." My first thought was what is that supposed to even mean? I have come to love the church as I see it being the means in which people will be reached for Jesus and his glory. As it is often said around my own church, the church is God's plan A, there is no plan B.

From what I read in Acts 2:42-47, I do not see why anyone would not want to be a follower of Christ and part of a community of believers (a church):
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day,attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Perhaps the motive behind this church's sign was an attempt to be cool or maybe be different than what many are used to in the Southeast. I understand that somewhat, but to advertise yourself as "the church for people who don't like church" is like saying we are the chicken restaurant for people who don't like chicken. This tells me that they are artificial and full of filler, existing so that you can have it your way, not God's way. 

Maybe I am being too harsh on this church and their attempt to get new people coming to their church, but to me what they are after is not true change and organic growth, but superficiality. I understand getting passed the non-essential reasons that people do not step foot in a church, but to advertise yourself in such a way as this church does is to make it sound as if you are something entirely different from the true definition of a church, which is God's plan A.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you Steve for the invite, I will check it out and I appreciate you reading and interacting with this blog.

    -Matt

    ReplyDelete
  2. Or maybe they are the real chicken restaurant for people tired of processed chicken... Who knows.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jacob, could be but still think that the advertisement is displaying the church more as competitors and the opposition, with a consumeristic bent, rather than church as different than the world. The post is not a judgement or an opinion on the church, but on their choice of advertisement.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Matthew,

    Good post. I hope you keep them coming, even from India, even if on a less frequent schedule. I am sure the perspective from abroad will enrich them all the more.

    There is a similar billboard on Route 264 towards Wilson/Greenville. It boldly proclaims: "Redefining Church." I was astounded by this the first time I saw it, and after several months, I felt compelled to write a reflection, like you avoiding any judgment of the people/pastors involved and focusing on the message the advertising conveys:

    http://www.holytheotokosgreenville.org/orthodoxy/94-redefining-church

    Where we might disagree is on the use of the term religion, though. I see a lot of Churches saying that Christianity is not a "religion" and then proceed to define religion as a works-based system in opposition to the grace-based "relationship" which is Christianity. While this is true to some extent, I feel like it's kind of a bait and switch gimmick; imagine the following hypothetical conversation:

    Christian: "Hey man, I want to invite you to come with me to a real great place this Sunday morning."

    Secularist: "Is it a...religious thing?"

    Christian: "Nah. I want you to meet my friend."

    Secularist: "Alright. Cuz I would not want to do anything smacking of religion."

    Christian: "Nah man, I hear ya."

    (arriving at Church)

    Secularist: "What the...! This is a Church! I told you no religion!"

    Christian: "It's not a religion! It's a relationship!"

    Secularist: "Whatever."

    In Christ,
    Father Anastasios

    ReplyDelete