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