Driving by a non-denominational church the other day, with its typical slogans of “welcome” and “enjoy,” “casual and contemporary,” “a church for people who don’t have a church,” it occurred to me that “non-denominational” churches have to advertise, and all advertising has to appeal to the worst within us - our self-serving instincts.
Places like Willow Creek (at least in the past) refused to advertise, relying only on word of mouth and the personal lives of its members.
In the past, denominational churches didn’t have to advertise, either. Yet, here we can say, they relied on “cultural connections” as much as on word-of-mouth and the personal lives of their members.
Whatever the situation, how much better if all churches quit advertising, other than a name out front, and perhaps a simple word of hope or praise.
The church in America has to cease appealing to the worst instincts of self-help, self-aggrandizement, self-love and America’s endless quest for personal satisfaction, achievement, youth, beautiful hair and shiny white teeth.
Infantile at best, demonic at worst, these instincts can never produce a healthy Christian, but only those who claim the name of Jesus for their own personal journey, to maximize the gains of this life and to finally get to heaven when it’s all done, leaving behind an changed world, a world that has been shopped and used, but never loved, and never once given the care mandated by Genesis 1 & 2 and Genesis 12 … not to mention the call of the prophets for justice, kindness and humility.