Ok, so before I dig into today’s post – let me offer my disclaimer. This post is not about politics, nor is it an endorsement of any particular ideological beliefs, constructs, or candidates.
With that said, the news has been inundated over the past few weeks with a very public “rebranding” and “rethinking” of the Republican Party. Even to the extent that there are reports of the GOP planning to spend about $10 million to recruit minorities and younger volunteers and staffers. After not getting the desired results after this most recent Election cycle, the Republican Party seem to now feel the pressure to rethink its structure, approach, branding, ideals, and core values. And so the discussions begin! The debates, arguments, frustrations, opinions, disagreements, and so on. Again, without being political or seeming like I am offering an endorsement (which I’m not!), I commend the Republican Party for at least having the discussion. Many times the solution to a problem is at least beginning the process to address it.
Again, what has put pressure on the GOP has been the results – winning the elections.
I think the church could learn some things from this. As we think about the strategy of our churches, ministries, and ministry based organizations, the very first question is – What are the results that we really need to see? What’s the bottom line here for us?
Alot of people would argue different answers here, but at its core, the commission for The Church is to get people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ (Matthew 28: 18-20). That affects marriages and families, kids, widows, those with addictions, those averse to Jesus Christ, those who have been hurt by the church, Democrats and Republicans, and so on. Because it affects all of these groups, demographics, and issues – there are additional “services” (ministries) that the church has to add to its portfolio to get people into that growing relationship. But the core mission – what will determine the best results – is ultimately how many people entered and remain in that growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Secondly, how are we communicating our message and brand? I know the communication specialists will love this portion of my post! The truth is that the church has an amazing message (John 10:10), with an amazing founder (Jesus Christ), that has a great guidebook for life (the Bible!). Those three things are not our problem. Among the core issues the church must address is the issue of branding, packaging, messaging, and dare I say, marketing!
When I say marketing, I am not suggesting, cliches’, flashy images, glossy publications, cool websites, spell-bounding logos, and neat trinkets (although those things may not hurt). What I am suggesting is that we take the necessary care to be clear on who we’re trying to reach and be clear on the best way to reach them. God’s message is that “those who win souls are wise!” What’s the wisest (clearest, cleanest, and most simple) way to win the souls in our cities, neighborhoods, homes, and jobs?
When you walk into the average church, there’s coded language, confusing practices, and convoluted teaching that can put more distance between people and Jesus Christ.
What I am clear on is that the local church is God’s institution that will never die and provide hope to people without it. I am also clear that there are many local churches that need some help being more healthy.
There are many churches that are attacking these questions with bull-dog tenacity to better understand the science of how we win folks to Christ and the hope that that relationship brings. There are still plenty more who are not. And the truth is, that what happens in one church at the very least impacts another church with affects the Global Church. The goal would be is to have nothing but healthy churches – everywhere! I hope today’s post will get you to thinking about it, talking about it, then maybe putting strategies together about it. And the least, it is worth the discussion!
See you on Monday as I talk about CHURCH STRATEGY: What the Church Can Learn From Carnival Cruiselines.