Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sermon Series Branding

Here is a response I gave to the following blog entry on 22 Words:

Sermon series branding: If your church does it, does it help? If they don’t, why not?

It seems like there’s an increasing trend of churches creating complete designs—logos, websites, previews, commercials, hype—around each new sermon series.

Here was my response:

Good question. Perhaps it is a question of why, how, and who. Why are you doing it? How does this fit with the vision/mission that God has given your community? Who are you hoping to appeal to?

As we can see above, many have indicated that they are beyond the flash and the advertisement. Others find it helpful to use multimedia as a means to connect with their people. If your community is in the middle of a highly affluent, tech savvy culture, then that might be an influencing factor.

Where do I stand? Well, on the one-hand I don’t really care. A good friend of mine pastors a church and they have banners, signs, theme videos, etc. However, he spends way more time preparing the message than worrying about the aesthetics. However, there are many folks who buy the whole package from a larger, more ‘influential’ church and then hopes that will be what is necessary to honor God and make disciples. That seems a bit lazy and I would argue that there are deeper issues at hand than whether or not they are ‘branding’ their sermon series.

Lastly, it would be prudent to understand the answers to the questions listed above before passing judgment on whether that practice is appropriate or not. It’s easy for me to forget what it was like being lost, what it was like being a young Christian, and be a lot more critical than I have the right to be. As a young preacher, I have to point myself back to John 13 and ask myself the question, “Does this honor God, teach the people, and convey humility?” I believe that in some contexts we must humble ourselves, even if that means a brochure/theme/web design in order to best serve our people. Even if we’re too mature in our faith to worry about silly things like that…


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think in order to reach as many people as possible, you need to be free to try a multitude of ways to peak interest in God. I think if we narrow it down too much and become too critical, we miss out on finding just the thing that will attract a cross section of individuals to seek Christ. There are so many ways we can reach out to those that are lost ~ One of the newest controversies to surface has been over the book "The Shack". People who have read this book have declared it to be anything from inspirational and faith encouraging to blasphemous. Having read it myself, I found it to be encouraging as it presented God as a loving, forgiving, second chance giving Lord. I think it has the possibility of peaking the interest of someone who has previously viewed God as harsh and unrelenting, thus clearing the way for them to develop the desire to search the Gospel and the truths it reveals. Since it is our goal as Christians to reach as many of the unsaved as possible, I think it is important we maintain an open mind as to how to approach people. We need to remain aware, since people are so diverse in their personalities, that there is a need to stay flexible in the different ways we seek to bring them to Christ.

Just my humble opinion.

Love you,