Pastor's Blog

One Sunday morning I was entering our church at the same time as a family that was visiting for their first time.  I held the door for them, smiled, and said “good morning”, as they entered.  However, I was unable to chat with them once inside because my morning coffee was “coming through” and I had to make a beeline for the rest room.

Later I received word came that these visitors claimed that the pastor snubbed them, refused to greet them, and they felt unwelcome at the church.  The family didn’t know I was the pastor when I held the door for them.  They learned who I was when I went to the pulpit, and my failure to engage them once inside was deemed “uncaring” on my part.

I thought of that episode when I recently saw a church that had its marketing slogan on its exterior wall:  “The Caring Church”. 

Not “A Caring Church”.  “THE Caring Church”.

I hope the pastor there doesn’t drink coffee on a Sunday morning.

This is one reason I am somewhat hesitant about marketing and “branding”.  The minute you create a “brand”, you’d better live up to it and never fall short.

Some time ago it was suggested that the slogan “Faith, Family, and Friendships” effectively captures what Mountain View is about and we should use it as a slogan on our website and in our literature.  I’m not a fan of marketing, but in the spirit of “Bunny Ears” (last week’s blog), I said to go for it.  You’ll see that slogan popping up in different places around our church.

But – and I am writing DIRECTLY to attendees of Mountain View Chapel -- if we use a slogan like that, we’d better be about that, and those that come among us better sense it and taste it. 

Our pastors can encourage and try to facilitate an emphasis on “faith, families, and friendships”, but only the people and families of the church can create it. 

If we don’t -- if we fail to live out our slogans -- they become a target on our backs.

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