"How did the world's greatest love story become known as a hate group?”
Jason Vanderground, president of Haven Creative Hub, is trying to solve that riddle as the marketing firm charged with increasing the relevance of Jesus in American culture.
Scroll through any popular social media platform and you’ll see plenty of posts calling Christians hypocrites and worse. It’s not surprising. Pew Research forecasting models show Christians will make up less than half of the U.S. population within a few decades. A recent survey suggests that non-believers in the United States think Christians are hypocritical and judgmental — in stark contrast to Christians, who describe themselves as compassionate and loving.
Considering that we are called to be fishers of men and reach people for the Kingdom, it appears there’s a flaw in our approach.
Is it Jesus that needs a new brand? Or is it the carriers of the message of Jesus Christ that need a new brand?
I say no to both questions, with a small caveat.
Jesus does not need a new brand; however, His brand ambassadors sometimes need reminding that we are called to share a message of love, hope, and salvation to this dark and fallen world. We can’t do that through a slick marketing campaign.
Ninety seconds of ads played during the Super Bowl cannot even begin to have the level of impact that each of you spending 40-60 hours in the marketplace each week can have on advancing the Kingdom of God.
It’s simple math. Even the best preachers only have about 30 minutes each week to share the gospel with their congregations. But Christian business leaders of any vocation or position share the gospel, spoken or unspoken, in EVERY interaction they have with people in the marketplace.
Francis of Assisi said it beautifully, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.”
People receive the gospel through people. Are you behaving in a way that people want to know the God you serve? Or when they watch you and interact with you, do they leave thinking, “If that’s a Christian, I don’t want anything to do with their God”?
When we effectively understand the opportunity and responsibility we have to embody the love of Jesus Christ in every contact we have with others, we’ll experience a greater ROI than could ever be gained from a $20 million ad buy
Body of Christ, we have much work to do if we are going to grow the number of Christ-following believers across this country. We can do it by having unity in Jesus and becoming the BEST brand ambassadors for Jesus Christ in the marketplace!