Christian Marketing

The other week I rode past a billboard off the side of the highway, the only thing it said was, in big letters, HELL is REAL. I want to know from the people who put up that sign what their goal for having that sign is. To me it seems like it is for everyone to see yet it does nothing for anyone. It’s not encouraging, its not uplifting, all it is doing is using scare tactics to try to change people and I find it hard to see it changing anyone. The sign says nothing good, it only uses the darkness part of Christianity. It doesn’t say anything about the forgiveness and all the things that Jesus promised us or all the great things about it. All the sign is doing is using fear to try to change people.

I’m not saying that Hell isn’t real but I am asking, why would be put on a billboard? It’s a marketing scheme for Christianity but when you have such a great “product” why would you have to scare people into “buying” it.? In this case Christianity needs to be like McDonald’s, they don’t market the high calories and fat and how unhealthy most of the food is but if you ask about it they don’t deny it. The high calories are the worst part about the food so they market the good aspects like the taste. Hell is like the fat and calories, it’s there and shouldn’t be denied but it shouldn’t be marketed. It’s not something that draws people to Christianity but it is something that is part of it so it shouldn’t be thrown to the side like it’s not there but it shouldn’t be marketed.

Why doesn’t that sign say Heaven is Real? That would make more sense to me. It shows the best part of Christianity and it is still dealing with the same subject of what happens after death. It is encouraging and instead of using fear its offering a reward. It’s shows the promise that Jesus gave us in John 3:16, “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” There are commercials and ads all the time about rewards for joining something or for buying something so why wouldn’t the rewards of Christianity be marketed? This reward is so much better than all of the other rewards in all of the world combined so we should tell everyone about that.

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7 Responses

  1. Great Post brother. you make some soild points about marketing “brand Jesus”

  2. Great post Matt! You should be on a church planting team… 😉

  3. I’ve been having a discussion with a very religious man, and he says that there shouldn’t be a reward for doing things for God and for being a Christian. He says that the knowledge that you’re close to God and you’re doing his work should be the reward. Ergo, Christianity shouldn’t post billboards about Heaven or Hell, it should post billboards about just being close to God.
    You’re saying to hide the bad things that could happen if you follow Christianity, just like McDonalds doesn’t say straight out that their food is high in calories and bad for you. Then, when someone goes to McDonalds and eats a lot of it, like one or two meals there everyday, and after two weeks of doing this they learn that there are repercussions, it’s the same thing with Christianity. A year or so into Christianity, or even sooner, like a few months, someone could learn that they could go to Hell instead of Heaven and be really scared, just like that person at McDonalds. They could also be mad because whatever they were doing wasn’t telling them whole truth; they only gave the “good” side of the story. Ergo, posting things like the “HEAL is REAL” sign shows the “bad” side of things, which isn’t done very often.

  4. I’m not saying to hide it I’m just saying don’t broadcast it. McDonald’s puts the heath information right on the box clear for everyone to see and know about it, they just don’t use that in there advertising because its not something that would draw people there.
    Same as with Hell it needs to be there clear for everyone to see yet it shouldn’t be used in the advertising because it’s not a drawing point either.
    As for a reward for being a Christian, I’m not saying that people should be payed off to become a Christian or get a new car for putting their faith in Christ, but with becoming a Christian they get the great things that Jesus promised, that’s their reward.

  5. Good call, Matt. Christianity is Good News, not scare tactics than make people run fast in the opposite direction. It is really sad when Christians market Christ as if he is out to get us. Slogans like, “Go to church or go to hell” and “turn or burn” miss the grace and forgiveness that Jesus offers freely to all.

  6. […] Matt Walton talks about church marketing – is it better to go the hell or heaven route? […]

  7. There is a fine line on this topic. Thinking about this quickly, the main elements of Christianity in my opinion are SIN, JUDGEMENT, GRACE & FORGIVENESS.

    The wages of SIN is death. (meaning you earn “death” as you work at “sin”, think of the 10 Commandments)
    God is the JUDGE.
    God showed GRACE by providing a Savior to save us from this “death” when we did not deserve it.
    This Savior, Jesus, allows God to FORGIVE us.

    To be fair to anyone asking about Chrsitianity, I think you must include that death without this grace means eternity in hell and accepting the free offer of this grace means eternity in heaven.

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