Thursday, August 28, 2008

Branding or Bonding?

What would you like to see changed at your church? If you are like most church folks (c of c or otherwise), the first thing you thought of was what you'd like to see happen in the assembly - what we have unscripturally called "The Worship" for the last fifteen or so centuries. I am still amazed at how mature Christians still focus on what kind of songs they wish were sung, or whether the style should be traditional, progressive, or - truth be told - short. What do you think would be the #1 topic at any church focus group meeting? What do you think is the single most important "appeal" that your church has to outsiders? What is the most often mentioned "need" that is not being met that causes people to "jump churches"? What defines your church?
I am ready for the church to be more concerned with bonding than branding. As I've said in many lessons, blogs, and articles - church/Christian togetherness, is a God-given tool to help us build spiritual relationships that will help us learn how to love God. Christian togetherness must be a giving experience not a receiving experience! Giving is love in action. It's love growing! It's being like Jesus. It's still the only thing Jesus said showed the world that we belong to Him! Until we "get it" - church will continue to be ineffective as a life-changing effort, disappointing to those seeking a deeper relationship with God, and unappealing to a world that feels no need to give up their Sunday morning sleeping in time.
Some of the "mega-churches" are starting to discover that church can't be about branding without bonding. With all the focus in God's Word on love and with all the "one another" passages spread across the New Testament, it's incredible to me that we have to "sell" Christians on the preeminence of building relationships. Could it be that we only "Restore" what we want to from the New Testament? And if we continue to do what we've always done - wait - maybe we don't want any different results?
If we're going to Be Real - we must be about what God truly wants.

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