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A “Brand” New Gospel

I am always fascinated by the way cutting edge ideas impact the church.  One example of this is a marketing buzzword of our day, branding.  Gail Goodman, a marketing specialist and entrepreneur, explains that “Your brand is what differentiates your business from the competition. Your brand is what you do and how you do it—and how you communicate that to the world.” 

From the consumer’s perspective, we all have favorite brands, whether they are clothes, food, toothpaste or automobiles.  We may not even remember how or why we developed a loyalty to the brand, but it is a strong bond.  Usually, people stick with brands that they tried out for the first time and never changed, but they also gravitate toward the recommendations of trusted friends or acclaimed experts.  Brand loyalty, however, is not nearly as strong as it once was.  Better products, more effective advertising or packaging that is more eye-catching is often enough to make people switch.  In fact, the product may even be inferior, but many people will still go for it if the marketing is better.

Warren Wiersbe once said that the church is not in the manufacturing, but the distribution business.  No one is going to manufacture a better product than the one produced by full salvation as described in the second chapter of Acts.  Yet, the branding of the product is left up to the distributors.  If we fail to differentiate the Apostolic message from the generic brand of Christianity, or, if we do our work in an inefficient, ineffective way, or, if we wrap our product in dull, drab colors, or, if we fail miserably to broadcast the message, then we cannot be as successful as the product calls for us to be.  One wonders what would happen if “Lemon Laws” were in effect for churches!

The question is begged:  what kind of advertisement are you for the kingdom of God?  I believe that every born-again Christian should inspire great interest in what he or she believes.  We are either out to change the brand loyalty of the world or we simply confirm to the world that they have something just as good as the product we offer and they needn’t bother to change.  Paul said, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV).  It’s not eye-catching packaging that makes the difference; it’s the real, heart-felt experience, the authentic life, the difference-making factor that causes people to want what we’ve got.

Take a critical look at the personal branding you are placing on the gospel.  By virtue of the fact you are a consumer, you are also an example of the quality of the product.  Listen to the way you talk.  Is your conversation fill of faith, hope, optimism and righteousness?  Look at the way you spend your time.  Is it productive, God-focused, service-oriented?  Look at your relationships.  Are they healthy?  Are they filled with love and integrity?  Look at your discipleship.  Are you praying?  In the Word?  Faithful?  Do not depend on what comes out of headquarters or national programs for the branding of the gospel in your personal world.  You are the best determinate of the reaction and response to the gospel that the unchurched will ever have.

Your brand is your signature of endorsement placed at the bottom of your Christianity.  In the stores, top quality merchandise of which the designer is especially proud, bears his or her signature.  The thinking is that anything they put their name on has got to be good.  With the gospel, we don’t have to worry about the quality of the product.  We do, however, have to put our own name on it.  Is it time for a “brand” new gospel?

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Reader Comments (1)

Such a thought-provoking post... I pray that we properly portray Him in every way!

Oh, that we would bring Him glory, and train our children to do the same.

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