Thursday, February 14, 2008

Easter: Getting the Numbers Up

Of all the marketing schemes I've seen for churches, this one is perhaps the most disheartening. A marketing company has produced a postcard that says "EASTER: It is all about you". The card is not a "gag", but an actual marketing scheme.

The most disturbing part is the text on the other side. It reads:

"The “Me Generation”, MySpace, iPods, Internet sites that instantly recognize your login and preferences—in this day and age the focus seems to be on Self. And, sometimes we question whether that’s a good thing. But, on an Easter long ago, even God made it all about you. Jesus came to earth out of a great love—for you. Join us this Easter at (Church Name) as we make it all about you—in the very best of ways." [blogger's note: if the picture does not show up, try clicking on the icon]

When our focus becomes about getting our "numbers up" in church, we become enslaved by a misdirected focus and no longer function as a church should. Jesus told us to "go into the world and make disciples" rather than to "go into the world and make huge churches," but with our focus on numbers we create "churches" that don't push sincere Christians to become better Christians each day, don't disciple and train new Christians on how to grow in their faith, and don't urge off-and-on visitors to commit to following Christ. This is a staple of the "religious" life of non-Christians who "do their time" each week by showing up and sitting in the back and watching what they mistakenly call "church." Our hearts should be breaking for those who go to this "church" each week and never are confronted with a loving and caring truth about their need for Christ and never are told the truth of an imminent hell for those who are not followers of Christ. What's even more disturbing is that they are robbed of the JOY of knowing their purpose in life - to worship and glorify their creator, as they are lied to by "pastors" and told that "it's all about you". These "pastors" are doing nothing more than putting sound insulation on the coffins of dead people.

"For you were dead in trespasses and sins...and were by nature children of wrath" and the reason God saves people is not all about them, but He saves "So that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace." (Eph 2:1,3,7) Sounds to me like it's all about God.

We were created to glorify God (Is 43:7)
Why do we exist?