This week I noticed a lot of people on facebook posting links to their church’s new promotional video, and quite frankly, it made me mad. In my experience, the best way to promote a church is to have humble, people showing the world that they care, not some fancy program or promotional video.
A promotional video is meant to promote the good and only the good. It tries to sell something by making it look awesome; however this will only leave people disappointed and hurt because the product is never as good as advertised. (How can it be? We are all imperfect human beings!)
It saddens me when I see big churches being run like a corporation. Church isn't about luring people in and trying to sell a product. Christianity is not a religion to be marketed and sold, it’s a relationship. I am not against the church’s use of media; I would love to see a church produce a video with life testimonies about how God has used the church or people from the church to bring healing, and change lives, instead of bragging about how great everything is at their church. I know of churches where I have experienced the exact opposite of what their videos promoted. That’s dishonest, not to mention false advertising.
Church should be where people can present themselves as human--flawed and in need of forgiveness. I don't want to go to a church full of squeaky-clean people who look good on the surface because they pretend to have it all together. I want to be able to admit my failures and confess my imperfections without the fear of being judged. Too many times, I know of those who have received the cold shoulder, or who were gossiped about when they dared to be honest and vulnerable. Sadly, I have experienced times in my life where my non-Christian friends showed me more of Jesus’ love than the church ever did.
A great church doesn't need to advertise--people will be drawn to it. All it takes is someone from that church to show that they really care. My beautiful sister-in-law is the mommy of a 3 ½ year-old and 6-month-old twins. The other day, she shared: “...just sitting here thinking how blessed we are to be part of a church community that has SO wrapped its arms around us at a time when life has seemed SO overwhelming!! Just wanna say thanks, thanks, THANKS!!” THIS is what church is all about—being the hands and feet of Jesus in real, practical ways. No promotional video will ever be able to do that.