A recent TV advertisment for a local extremely contemporary church is playing on cable TV stations. The frenetic images filled with guitars, slick stage lighting, girls dancing like some rock concert stage show. It's about as far from a traditional image of "church" as can be gained in a 15 second spot.
Unfortunately, their advertising ...well, to put it in terms that they would probably understand -- it sucks!
Why? Well, I'm not finding fault with their attempt to reach unsaved modern young adults and teenagers. I'm would hope that their enthusiastic pastor is attempting to make a clear case for the Gospel, unashamed as well as undiluted.
But what really bothers me is this "by line" which is the only speaking which appears in the commercial besides the brief sound bite of the pastor speaking about "the abundant life". What is the by line? It's this:
"Making God Famous"
I literally stopped in tracks when I heard that and literally shouted out at the TV - "Who do you think you're kidding, people?"
How in the world can a place that is trying to contemporalize the gospel of Jesus Christ even think they could do such a thing as "make God famous"?
Do they not realize that God doesn't need to be famous. Have they forgotten that He doesn't need to be anything -- He just IS. I mean, after all -- that IS His name -- I AM.
I pray they have a good run as a church. I pray that God will help them develop hearts of devotion in a everchanging ocean of humanity. I pray that when life's storms slam against the shores of their lives, they find they're living on the Rock and not floundering in the shifting sands. But I can't see how trying to "make God famous" is going to be an adequate foundation for a thriving ministry.
I've replayed the images of the commercial in my mind since I first saw it advertised. I'm not sure it would be a church in which I would feel anything of the still, small voice of God. I just don't think loudness indicates depth of spirituality or commitment. I'm not sure "slick" and "current" is going to be enough to root believers firmly into the Vine.