Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Soliciting, Marketing, and Proclaiming the Gospel

We had a good conversation at the Penn house tonight. Lot's of questions, not many answers - normal for any Penn house. :) Just ask my brothers.

As we set out on this adventure, we want to invite, share, and proclaim. So is there a difference between inviting and soliciting in reference to the Gospel? Is there a difference between proclaiming and promoting (marketing)?

Just out of curiousity I checked out Webster's definitions...

Solicit:
1 a
: to make petition to : entreat b : to approach with a request or plea
2 : to urge (as one's cause) strongly

Marketing:
1 a
: the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market b : the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service

I'm afraid that the gospel lends itself to solicitation. We make petition and entreat. We plead with people that they would seek God in Christ. When you are speaking about life and death - urgency is natural.

As far as marketing is concerned, it always worries me when we treat Jesus and the Church as a product to sell or a service to distribute. But I will say this - we are to be promoting a person. And something as simple as giving your testimony or inviting a friend to church could be considered "marketing" on some scale. I personally think that promoting is important. I just want to make sure I'm depending on God for reaching people, and not my design or marketing plan.

So the questions tonight are (as they relates to missions)...
How do you solicit without soliciting?

How do you promote/market without "selling" Jesus?

2 comments:

Tim Lewis said...

Let me know when you get the answers figured out!

It seems to me that we're guilty of marketing the gospel and the church when we focus on giving people what they "want" just to get them in the door rather than letting them know about what the "need." Sometimes this almost becomes a bait and switch tactic. We trick them to get them in by promoting a felt need and then push the gospel on them. From the mindset of some seekers I can see how this could be a bit of a put-off.

Jesus said our message wouldn't be popular with a lot of people. Why do I feel the need to try and dress up in a way that will make it so?

Good questions. By they way, the IL web-site looks awesome! So does your church site? Did you build it using Wordpress? You info on websites was very helpful. Going to be making some changes just as soon as I get some free time.

Travis Penn said...

Thanks for the positive feedback Tim.

I think too often I just over-analyze every situation, and I just need to share what God has done for me.

Glad to hear things are going so well in Utah. We look forward to what God will continue to do out West.