“Create remarkable products that the right people seek out.”
The above quote comes from Seth Godin’s book “Purple Cow.” So far this book is about the changes of marketing over the years. The old mindset of marketing consisted of produce the right advertisement and get it to as many people as possible. But over something shifted and the new mindset is make a great product and get it in the hands of the right people. What stands out to me most is the idea of a “remarkable product” and how this idea applies to the modern day church.
Think of it this way; most churches are stuck. They are inwardly-focused and concerned more with the people in the building than the people outside of it. Our culture has shifted though and churches are dying (and have been) although most didn’t notice. We’ve marketed the church to Christians. We have programs that Christians would enjoy. We market books, conferences, retreats and cruises that are “Christ” centered to the church goers. We have events that keep our kids safe and away from the heathen population around us. We have essentially, mass marketed ourselves to well, ourselves. We have stopped worrying about the “product” which we market; in this case Jesus Christ and have exhausted our resources. Old Christians are dying. There are few new Christians to market to and because of this our product of Christ suffers.
The church has the most marketable and remarkable product ever created; eternal salvation, heaven on earth, peace, hope, love, joy all made possible through Jesus Christ. Granted Christ isn’t a product, we didn’t create Him. The idea of Christ as a product is to illustrate an important principle; we have lost focus of the church. If we are weakening Christ and His message by being a self-focused, self-indulgent church than we don’t have the promise product that the world needs to meet.
Here is the bottom line on this train-wreck of a thought: The church mass marketed to themselves their own product which they already have and are failing to market it the right people. The church is decaying due to poor marketing of a remarkable product.
The mission of the church is simple: Love God and love others. The way we love God and live our life will reflect Christ and gives us an opportunity to market this remarkable product to the seeking soul. We cannot do this though if we are only concerned with our church and other Christians.
In the book of Jeremiah God speaks to his people, who have lost their way and says:
“There’s no use offering me sweet frankincense from Sheba. Keep your fragrant calamus imported from distant lands! I will not accept your burnt offerings. Your sacrifices have no pleasing aroma for me.” (Jeremiah 6:20, NLT)
In other words the people weren’t doing what God called them to do; they lost their way. They worried about the impending dangers that surrounded them. They turned to themselves and other nations for answers but failed to focus on God and His message. These folks had God in their corner but failed to do as He wanted. They had a product and failed to market it.
As Christians we are doing the same thing. We live in fear of change. We look toward ourselves for the answer and fail to do as Christ commanded us. Our inward focus has created a medial product. There is hope though. God didn’t leave us out to dry. He knew that we would struggle with inward mindsets and selfishness of His Son but He gave us the solution. The solution is change. Change our view, our way of worship, our way of marketing to ourselves and live a new life for Him.
“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)
If we do this, if we change from selfish inward views and get back to the mission that Christ exemplified in the Gospels; we have hope. A life of love is concerned with others who don’t know the greatest source of love. The disciples didn’t hangout together all day; they went and spread the message of love. They died to themselves and they died horrible deaths to become a pleasing aroma to God. They took the message to the streets and marketed their remarkable product of Christ to the lost souls who needed Him. That stance, that message should be what drives our churches. It takes sacrifice. It takes difficult changes but it is what we must do to revive our product. Jesus Christ is the most amazing gift to the world; a world that is seeking something and needs to hear about Him. What are you going to do about this church? How are we going to get our remarkable “product” to the seeking souls?