The greatest and most well known companies of the world still spend so much on advertising and they do that in the most prime hour. You won’t watch the news to the end before seeing an Ad from Coca-Cola even though when we say soft drink in any event that’s all anyone thinks. Why? Because even if the whole world knows they exist, even if you’ll find their bottles across the globe from Kalahari to Kazakhstan, they believe still more people would do with an extra soda. It’s not a question of how well known but how much more they can sell and remain relevant. They understand something that we don’t seem to get clearly within the church business. That what gets you in is what keeps you on and you don’t need to change the product only the marketing strategy. Believe in your product and speak of it like your believe it at every opportunity is the old skill in the book.
More than Coca-cola though Christianity has indeed gone out to the whole world with an even longer history. But our problem is we get easily comfortable whenever our small local community seems to believe in our product. For the most part we think all they need is some sense of association like going to church and we can take a back seat in the marketing business. So for the prime hour we let others have a say or get ourselves something new, something seemingly appealing, something we think the people need. But we all know if Coca-Cola did that they’d be dead within a generation.
But Coca-cola doesn’t let the change in the market deter them from their business and belief that more people should purchase their product. Instead they approach that culture, the new trends and preferences and show them why Coca-cola is the answer. They know something else we don’t seem to get, that though brands change and culture moves the needs are fundamentally the same. You’ve just got to reach the people where they are at and show them why they need your product. Same old Coca-cola, might take a new bottle and a more niche marketing strategy but the product remains the same.
Why is it that we let competitors convince us that our product is old news and irrelevant? Why would we give up our prime hour for something else other than the Gospel? We’ve got a product far better and more promising than Coca-Cola. For nothing changes people and offers what we truly crave than the Gospel. We’ve got a free audience every Sunday infront of our pulpits. A people hungry for the hope of the Gospel. If Coca-Cola ran a weekly church you can bet what their weekly message would be. Why do we deviate from ours?
I know there’s a lot more that fights the spread of the Gospel and things are not as easy as advertising. I know more forces visible and invisible are at play here. And there’s an offence the Gospel draws unlike Coca-cola. But still there are three things we can drawn from the world of advertising. One, we’ve got to believe in our product and say it like we believe it. Second, however relevant and widely accepted it is still we must keep sharing about our product to those who know and the many who don’t. Third, change in the market doesn’t mean we have to dump or change our product, we just need to reach the market where they are at. Coca-cola reaps as much as it gives to the marketing industry. Christianity would reap a great more if we invested everything we’ve got to the tested and proven product that is the Gospel. And especially if we valued the prime Sunday hour and reserved it for nothing else but the Gospel by teaching though the Bible story and pointing people to Jesus.
Now, in Gospel sharing there’s weakness with every illustration we pick and this is no exception. But I do honestly believe we do a great deservice to ourselves, our generation and our future when we hold loosely to the teaching and practice of the Gospel within our churches and Christian communities. If we believed half as much as Coca-Cola believes in their product and what they think of the market, we would never depart from the teaching of the Gospel even for a single Sunday. We would test and ascertain everything we preach and commit to by the Gospel litmus test.
You know what blows my mind away is that the Gospel product is not only what every man needs to hear. We are told it’s the very manifold wisdom of God that even the angels tap into to know our God. Imagine that! For you guys that love mysteries and big revelations the Gospel should be what you are all about.
12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 1 Peter.
See also Ephesians 3:10.
In other words the Gospel of Jesus is so powerful, so relevant, so central that the universe revolves around it. If angels were on earth they’d be all about the Gospel. They would sit as many times to learn from the Gospel as told in the story of the Bible. Why do we substitute it for something else? The world of yesterday, today and tomorrow is united by this central message. That man is desperately sinful and hopelessly guilty and ripe for God’s wrath. But that by the Gospel of Jesus wretched man has a place in the holy kingdom of God. By faith in Jesus man who is born dead in sin is rescued to be a saint and a son in God’s kingdom. The enemy of God is brought home and made a son of the family of God by faith in Jesus. That’s the product the world needs. There’s the hope for humanity. And it never gets old or irrelevant.
That message is what we need here and now. It’s what gets us in through the door of faith and what we need for the journey. Yes we can’t teach through Gospel tracts every Sunday that would be boring. Yes we must think about what our congregation face everyday and rightly apply this Gospel, faithful preaching demands this. Yes we cannot ignore the needs and the culture around us, we are here for a reason. But like Coca-cola and better we’ve got one product that has proved to work, the Gospel, and it’s what people need more than anything.
We have one arrow in our quiver but the only one we need for all the wars of this life. For all arrays of our needs, wants and preferences only the Gospel has the cure. Everything else only calms the symptoms but the Gospel truly heals. We must believe this like Coca-cola believes in their product. We must say this like we believe it. We must share it regardless of how many associate with it. And even within our camps we must still teach and hold to it by teaching the Bible that teaches the Gospel as oftenly as is possible. Forget all those new trendy topics, if you want lasting relevance land with the Gospel. Give me the old Gospel message as taught in the Bible applied to life here and now.
There can never be enough talk of the Gospel within our churches and Christian communities. We may not call every sermon, every fellowship and mission trip a Gospel crusade but that’s what they should be. We should be known if ever for anything that we were a people drunk of the Gospel. We fail many times but we should rejoice whenever rebuked by the Gospel. Yes we enjoy all kinds of talks and humor goes a long way but without the Gospel we always leave empty. May the Lord help me never to tire, never to get familiar or presume I need anything more than the unadulterated preaching of the Gospel. The Gospel according to Coca-Cola is here’s more Coke for you. And our Gospel is that we need more Gospel teaching.