I recently saw an ad for a local church. It is a big church. They do a lot of great things. The number of churches they have helped start is impressive. They know who they are and what they are about.
The ad I saw was on a counter of a gas station. It was a DVD. I’m not sure what the content of the disc was and didn’t want to take one just to satisfy my curiosity. But it was the cover that got me. It was a picture of a guy wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. Oh, he also had a hip wrist bracelet made out of rawhide. The words on the cover said, “Can This Be Church?”
Now in a moment of frustration I said something on Facebook about this. I wrote, “Dear Church Advertisers: Could we please get past clothing being an issue? It makes us look shallow.”
One of my friends on Facebook reminded me that for a lot of people that don’t go to church the whole ‘dressing up’ thing is an issue. Okay, point taken. I just don’t know one single church that dresses up…maybe the Catholic Church by me, but that’s about it. Every other church I have visited was casual and most of the pastors I know are casual.
As I write that I am reminded that there is a church in Florida that does not allow shorts to be worn to their service. I attended a large church In Florida where all the staff was wearing suits for the service. So, evidently there are some churches that clothing is still an issue, but not around here, not really.
Anyway, it bugged me. It bugged me that that was what they led with for their advertising: Jeans and a t-shirt for church. I am pretty sure the DVD had some cool things on it because that church does some pretty cool things.
My friends comment started me thinking way beyond the shallowness comment. When I was in sales training we had this routine about “I’m the brochure.” It was designed to move the sales call along. When someone asks if there was a brochure that could be left behind, you say, “I’m the brochure. What do you want to know?”
We are the advertisement for our churches. We can tell our friends what to wear. We can tell them what to expect. And we can do it better than any video produced.
I guess I just don’t think that the best way to build the church is through mass marketing (no pun intended). We are the best (I’m being optimistic) advertisement for the church we attend.
What do you think? Am I overly sensitive about this issue? Does marketing to a clothing style demonstrate shallowness? Do I just need to take a pill and relax?