Friday, September 12, 2008

Thinking Good Brand Recognition Equals Genuine Witness

I think it is important for the church to recognise and appreciate the difference between branding and witness.

Branding is about creating a positive influence, reputation, and sense of recognition in your community. For a long time the church as been seen as behind the times, against everything, and irrelevant to the issues 'real' people face in the 'real' world. Good branding seeks to turn this around. Church logos, refurbished buildings, community initiatives that bless and make a difference in people's lives are some of the things that help with branding. They create for the unchurched a positive impression and appreciation of the church.

A positive impression with the community though is not the Gospel.

The gospel is the gospel. It's not a logo, a special event, or a better sound system. The gospel is the good news that Jesus gave his life on the cross to pay the price for your sin and mine, that He rose from the dead, and that forgiveness is available as we repent and follow Christ. The gospel is a challenge, it is a invitation, it is a clear message. At times it is a stumbling block and an offense. An offense to a sinful lifestyle as it defines a right way of living and a wrong way of living. Being told you are wrong can be offensive, especially when you think you are all right.

The church must not mistake branding for the gospel.

It must work on its branding, change misconceptions about the church and what it means to be a Christian, present herself as relevant and essential to 21st Century living.

It must continue to preach and present the gospel. A clear challenge to repent from a sinful life and turn to follow Jesus.

No comments: