A New Ad For Church

Churches often broadcast the message that they offer “the world” a glimpse of “the kingdom”.

The high medieval period in Europe was a time when the very architecture of the church sought to reflect the transcendent nature of divinity, to overwhelm with beauty and majesty, and to visually exhibit perfection.

The outsides of churches portray something different than what was really going on inside. For the most part we still recapitulate that façade on the interpersonal level – I profess a godly lifestyle on the outside, but inside I am alone in my depravity. It is only by mistake or under duress when we expose the flaws. And of course, it doesn’t help when our industrial culture quickly dismisses vulnerability and discards the broken. Pop culture isn’t real – it’s a façade as well.

Can church broadcast then a different message now in the 21st century? This ad shows that at least one auto corporation acknowledges the façade and addresses it “head on”. But perhaps it could double for our churches.

It is still beautiful in its brokenness. There’s something to be said for that.

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Comments

  1. daniel so says:

    David — You always provide the best YouTube footage! I love this commercial — and not only for the wanton destruction of new vehicles 🙂

    What are the spoken and unspoken messages we convey about our church communities? Even churches that proclaim they are for “all people” or, more specifically, for the broken, misfits, oddballs and losers might convey a different unspoken message in their communities. If this church really is for the broken, then why does everyone look like they have it all together?

    I love this idea of truth in advertising. I’m trying to think of how we’d advertise our church. Maybe something like, “The music is kind of jangly and the preacher talks too fast but most of us are pretty nice” or “Living together in the mess that we are”…

  2. David Park says:

    thanks daniel! and that would be awesome if you advertised for your church in that way!

    i think it would just be more refreshing for brokenness to be brought into the discussion very early on, but not as a sermon point or an abstraction, but as an environment that acknowledges and welcomes a sober look at ourselves and the ways we live.

    even to question church and the role of the pastor. recently, i had a conversation with a pastor who wondered out loud if the church had domesticated him…i was like, wow, say that on sunday morning and unpack that.

    i think that’s the type of vulnerability that is so attractive to me. and to many others of our generation. that type of brokenness shows a strength that is too few and far between in our culture today.

  3. L T says:

    great post. thanks.
    i think the way many churches present themselves even though not very real or humble is what we wish and hope for. how many congregations can handle the honest broken truth about themselves? can they even laugh at themselves? that for sure ain’t happening in immigrant churches. there’s a lot of pride. we can’t possibly show our weaknesses. who’d want that? it’s all about being positive. we can’t be negative. that’s just so on the surface. it’s easier to look christian than to be christian.

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