Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What the Church Can Learn from the Obama Campaign

This post is not political.  However, after reading up on how the Obama campaign won the election, I realized that there were a couple of tips that we as the Church could take from their strategy.

1. They had the desire to convert. Obama wanted to win.  He knew that every vote  counted and he went after it.

2. They went to the people.  I read in Time Magazine that Obama had a strategic ground formula that was unmatched by Romney. He utilized facebook in a way that will most likely change the game of politics from now on out.  All this being said, is that, as a Church, we must go to the people.  Isn't this what Jesus did?  :)

3. They did not rely on the rally.  Similar to point two, Obama did not rely on his rallies to get his message across.  If we as the Church relied solely on Sunday morning services to get the gospel out (which we tend to do), we are going to lose this race of building the Kingdom.

4. They told people what they could offer.  Again, this is not a political article, so I will not go into the details of whether they can do what is promised.  However, as Christians, we know GOD CAN DELIVER.  And people need to know that.  We have the greatest news and the greatest deal, yet we don't seem to want to share it with anyone.  However, if we communicated the life, joy, and hope Jesus brings, don't you think people would respond?

Whether you are an Obama fan or not, his strategy worked.  Don't you think it might be time that Evangelicals re-evaluated their own strategies of the "seeker" friendly model and adopt a ground game that might be a little more time consuming, a little more dirty, and a little more relational.  However, the effects could possibly be a little more eternal.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Lesson from Starbucks

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

I went to a Starbucks the other day to find the slogan “Rekindle the Joy” emblazoned on their door. In July of this past year, their stocks fell due to a lowered projection in fourth quarter earnings.  Before the recession, a Starbucks cup was somewhat of a status symbol and brought with it a sense of well-being.  Now, the same cup seems to represent superfluous spending and a lack of priority.  In response, the company hopes to re-brand themselves by reminding people of the togetherness that happens over a cup of coffee.  
While this is a silly illustration, it makes me think of a much greater branding issue that we as Christians have.  As I was driving down the road the other day, a church’s billboard read “you may think someone is sweet until you sit in their pew.”  Somewhere, the church has gone from being the Body of Christ to a competitive bunch of social organizations.  We love those who are like us and judge those who are not. The name Jesus Christ no longer brings a sense of peace, hope, and joy to those but rather dread, condescension, and distrust. 

If we were to re-brand Christianity today perhaps a tag phrase could be: Truly Transformed.  You see, Starbucks began to lose business because people realized that the company was capitalizing on really expensive coffee. The product did not live up to the hype.  Unfortunately, for some cynics, they see Christianity the same way: a group of sugar-coated people on the outside that if you mess with them, watch out. Yet, these naysayers miss the ultimate picture of Christianity: Christ.  When Jesus was alive, people were attracted to him.  Today, the church constantly has to come up with catch slogans and programs to get people in the doors. Therefore, if we could re-brand ourselves, allowing Christ to truly transform us, the Church, and the way in which we relate to those around us, the world would have a completely different perception to Christianity.  Not only would it be different, it would be magnetic.

What are some practical ways you can “re-brand” yourself to where others see Christ in you?