Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Wrong Way?

Of course, everyone knows that the right way to promote your church is to develop materials to tell prospects about all of the things that you offer them: Programs for the kids, activities for them, etc. At FBC Farmersville we're developing new materials to give to people who visit our church. I guess I'm making a big mistake by leading off with this?

[EDIT]I have inserted the statement in its entirety, so you can read the whole thing in context.

So, you’re looking for a church home. What does First Baptist Church have to offer you? We offer you a cross to take up as Christ’s disciple. We offer you the chance to forfeit your vacation to serve a meal in a slum in Thailand, or carry gypsum wallboard up a flight of stairs to install into a Hurricane Katrina victim’s new home in Waveland, Mississippi. We offer you the chance to rush to church after a long Wednesday’s work, don an AWANA shirt, and lead a fifth-grader to a life-changing faith in Christ. We offer you a chance to lose your life, so that you might really find it.

We offer you a weekly confrontation with the Word of God. We promise that it will make us all uncomfortable sometimes. It will challenge our preconceived notions. It will make us think, and it might make us mad. It will ask us whether we’re doing the things that really matter in the long run. When the world says we’re worthless, God’s Word will pick us up and remind us what God thinks about us—God sees the value inside and loves us too much to leave us the way that we are.

We offer you the promise that you’ll have to do all of this alongside people who don’t look much like you and don’t always see the world the same way that you do. “One body...One Spirit...One hope...One Lord, One faith, One baptism, One God and Father of all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6) That’s what First Baptist Church of Farmersville is all about. Why should churches be divided along lines of age, race, wealth, musical preference, occupation, or leisure pursuit? Contemporary churches. Traditional churches. Biker churches. Surfer churches. Singles churches. Senior adult churches. Is that what Jesus intended when He founded the church? We think not, and we have determined to build a transgenerational, transpreferential church in which people find their unity around the things that really matter: Christ, our salvation in Him, all of the teachings of His Word, and the work that He has given us to do.

Is that the kind of church you’re seeking? I can’t answer for you, but maybe that’s the wrong question to begin with. The question is, what kind of church is God seeking for you? We’re betting that He’s looking for a church a lot like ours, and we welcome the chance to open a conversation with you about it.

19 comments:

Baptist Theologue said...

I like it. Truth in advertising....

Dave Miller said...

I think you should offer them "Your Best Life Now."

Les Puryear said...

Ooooo that's good. That is very good.

Jack Maddox said...

I am offended and will not be attending your services...you mention nothing about church softball or praise dancing...and what about my self esteem?You dare to suggest that I attend on a Wednesday night...Don't you know that that's fajita night at the local tavern and I have to be there to share my faith! You must be one of those fundies!

jrm

pastorsteveweaver said...

That's awesome.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

I have seen the inside of your sanctuary. You forgot to say that you have bullet proof glass around the Praise Band for those that are upset about the drums.

:>)

I do like the truth of the statement.

Blessings,
Tim

volfan007 said...

bart,

this is fresh.


david

cameron coyle said...

I like it, especially the second paragraph.

Dave Miller said...

Hey, I joked before, but this is good stuff. Is this really your ad?

Have you copyrighted it? Because I may edit it and use it here in Sioux City. Probably will pretend it is original to me.

I read a story about DL Moody. He applied for membership in a church and was turned down for his bad grammar.

Now, I don't support excluding people from membership on the basis of grammar, but it points out the difference.

Churches no longer uphold standards. We compromise ourselves, market ourselves, package ourselves, manage our appearances - all to attract a bigger clientele.

If the rich young ruler showed up, we would have him baptized and teaching a class of boys in a month.

This resonates in my spirit!

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is very good. I would only suggest you add "a bi-partisan church" given your flare for all things political (snicker snicker).

In all seriousness- this is excellent.

sean

Amanda said...

LOVE IT! I have the same question as Dave Miller...Have you copyrighted it?

kws said...

Bart,

I have been contemplating a similar advertisement in response to all the adds promoting "no committment", "felt needs met", "emotional health" messages that dominate our local paper's religious section. I, too, plan on giving you no credit.

joerstewart said...

I knew there was a reason I really resonate with you. Right up my alley - especially the part about being a church for everyone. Great stuff.

Bart Barber said...

Thanks everyone for the encouraging comments. No, this isn't copyrighted. I just wrote it yesterday! And I have no plans to copyright it. Scavenge from it as you will.

ben macklin said...

you seeker sensitive guy, you.

Ben Macklin

Andrew Hebert said...

Love it....Is it alright to borrow this for our church?

Dave Miller said...

By the way, I joked about using this without credit, but integrity demands that any of us who use this give credit.

The author hasn't asked for it, but we should give it.

Bro. Matt said...

I have a feeling there will be churches all over using something very similiar to what Bart wrote...I know we will! And I'll give you credit Bart...though it will be in the really small fine print!!! Hahaha...

NoLongerBlind said...

Awesome!
A church that condones (and participates in) gambling!

What's next--will you be having an over/under as to how many will "walk the aisle" each month??

(He ducks and runs..... =;0) )

A friendly visitor from TeamPyro...