To Advertise or Evangelize
By Hally Franz –
There is a lovely cinema that my family and I visit in a suburban area not far from our home. At that theater, like many others, there are ads running prior to the start of the movie. Over the course of several months, that cinema showed ads for a large, non-denominational church in the area. I don’t remember the name of the church, but I do remember one stunning statement from the commercial. The advertisement invited people to attend their services, assuring them that, unlike other churches, “the people aren’t weird.”
I remember initially questioning myself about what I had heard, but when our minister referenced the same ad one Sunday, I knew I had understood the message correctly.
Wow! What a discouraging way for a church to communicate to the masses! Unfortunately, in our society, there are already enough challenges for Christians when it comes to evangelizing and carrying out The Great Commission. Calling traditional Christians, or any other body of believers, weird would not seem to serve His purposes. Encouraging that thinking seems more divisive than helpful in the pursuit of new believers.
I have great pride (hopefully, not in a sinful way) about my church home. We are blessed with a gifted minister, committed leaders, wise men and women, and an ever-growing group of youth. We are a family, seeking to study and follow God’s Word, and we have fun while we do it.
I know there are other congregations in our small town doing the same thing. Our orders of worship may differ, membership size may vary, and our church cultures are all unique. And, while my family is blessed to be just where we are, there are many other churches doing great things, too. I wouldn’t judge them as “weird” simply to appeal to the unchurched.
People re-connect on facebook because they share a high school or college alma mater. Serious fans buy season tickets to large-scale and local sporting events. We offer up huge amounts of time to our children’s activities and endeavors. Let’s remember to support our church bodies with the same enthusiasm, time and energy. That display of spirit and home-church pride will bring more people to Christ than calling the other guys names any day.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, provide wisdom for individual Christians and church bodies as they seek to reach others in the community. Lead us to evangelize with kindness and excitement for You, so that Your message is heard.
BIBLE VERSE: “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything” (1 Thessalonians 1:8 NKJV).