Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote on the Wall about a quaint church in Beaumont, Texas making international news by calling themselves, “A bunch of jerks.”

They addressed the hypocrisy among the faithful, the stigma in the Church and the elephant dropping bombs in the room.

If it ain't broke, buy another one.

It was a bold move because the biggest cause of Atheism would be Christians who do not reflect Christ. Great idea, right? Apparently so, because it’s been cloned according to the Christian Post.

A megachurch [NorthRidge Church] in Southeast Michigan is making a lot of people uncomfortable with its new billboard campaign that proclaims that the church is for hypocrites, losers and liars.

Well, of course, they are making a lot of people uncomfortable… the formula worked once before. Why not do it again?

“The reality is all human beings are the same. They’re flawed. We’re all the same inside [the church] and outside. We too are failures, losers, … hypocrites,” [Pastor Brad Powell of NorthRidge Church] continued.

“Jesus didn’t put up higher fences in heaven to keep the bad people out,” he said. “Rather, Jesus came down to earth and dwelled among the people. When you look into God’s word, He never turns inward. He turns outward.”

Don’t get me wrong… he’s right. Regretfully.

However, just because the word changed from “jerks” to “hypocrites,” does not make this an original idea. There’s no such thing as an original idea anyway, but at least give it a few months before you poach it?!

It’s no secret I don’t have much affinity for stereotypical Christian marketing. I mean, how difficult must it be to take a well-known brand and make an evangelism hack job out of it?

Christian marketing usually means copied marketing.

Oh. The scripture. That'll make us forget about the familiar logo.

Consider God: There was nothing but his idea. He imagined with vivid detail, molded the earth with complete ingenuity and relished in the unique nature of his creation.

He didn’t copy a logo. He didn’t “borrow” an invention. Everything he did was an original.

And that’s why it baffles me that marketing and advertising professionals who love the Lord and have dedicated their lives to him can’t at least go about their trade with a tad more originality.

Brands like ‘Not of this World‘ have taken what ‘Affliction’, ‘Silver Star’ and ‘MMA Elite’ has done for the mixed martial artist crowds and brought it to the Church. Bravo.

And then, there is the status quo that believes take what is known, plaster a verse on it and call it “divine providence.”

We can do better. We must do better.

Pastor Brad (imagine, he doesn’t like being called that) understands this whole “jerk” thing is lightning in a bottle. Everyone is looking at this. Everyone appreciates this. Because everyone agrees with this… except for the folk who are this.

A thought for all pastors: Be unconventional. Be daring. And most importantly, try to be original. You tend to make more news that way.

Just ask the little church in Beaumont, Texas about that one.

UFC 116 just happened… and for those of you either don’t in the know or in the care, it was off the chain! Great fights, good drama and one intense heavyweight championship in which a former WWE superstar arrived as an MMA powerhouse, Brock Lesnar.

Oh, sorry?

Does my rah-rah session of mixed martial arts shock you? What is a fire-baptized, spirit-filled child of God (and martial artist of almost two decades) doing watching MMA?

Easy. Thoroughly enjoying it.

Once a Power Ranger now an MMA Hero

Who needs white armor when you have all that ink

And I’m not alone according to this story in the Houston Chronicle about a man with not a familiar name, but definitely a familiar past and now he is making a mark for Christ in the world of the UFC, Strikeforce and MMA.

Meet Jason David Frank (yeah, this cat), the owner and creator of Jesus Didn’t Tap, a reference to “tapping out,” or forfeiting a fight.

His line of Jesus-branded MMA merchandise is on display on his studio walls, on the backs of his young students and even on cars across the country.

By the way, Frank famously fought evil villains with white metallic armor and a talking saber as Tommy on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. (Parents everywhere along the wall just became interested in this story. Whatever works.)

For Frank and his Christian fans, Jesus Didn’t Tap is more than just a logo; it’s part of their philosophy. “Jesus is the only one that truly didn’t tap. They say, ‘Oh, he was nailed to the cross so he couldn’t tap.’ Well, you can verbally tap, you can verbally cry, ‘I quit! I give up!’ That’s not what he did. He got crucified for all our sins,” said Frank, 36, who wears the company’s logo tattooed across his forearm.

No sport is perfect. And whether we are viewing and cheering the bone-chilling tackles on a football field or a sweet rear-naked choke in the Octagon, it is still sport… and I can still be saved enjoying it.

This is not a Christian world, folks. Therefore, in the midst of it, we should just strive to be the image of Christ in this world for everyone to view, enjoy and want to emulate. That’s precisely what Frank is doing as he positions “Jesus Didn’t Tap.”

And this “trend” isn’t going anywhere.

Think about it? You got some dude jacked up on machismo and bitter from some so-called Christian who scorched his earth. Is there anyway he comes to church via your invitation? Uh, no. However, invite the guy for some UFC or Strikeforce pay-per-view and he is in there.

Fighting ministries help churches reach out to men, who are less likely to attend services, believe in God or consider religion important in their lives, according to a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

And you aren’t crazy about that statistic, consider the Bible and Paul’s final words to Timothy:

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. (1 Timothy 6:11-14 NLT).

Jesus is alive in the world of MMA

MMA meet WWJD

Fight. I know, I know. It’s not showing the turn the other cheek mentality. Consider, we “wrestle” not against flesh and blood. Besides, I have actually had someone to whom I was witnessing try to kick my blessed assurance.

And yes, I turned the other cheek… because he sucker-punched the first one. So, in the name of Jesus, I had to throw down my “I must protect this house” card and proceed to stomp a mudhole and walk it dry.

Then, I shared the Good News of Christ. It worked too… he’s saved today.

Wall Watchers, we need to pray for brands like this that want to be all things to all men, all Paul professed.

Several MMA sites sell Jesus Didn’t Tap gear alongside top secular brands like TapOut and Affliction. Their shirts depict Jesus fighting the devil (and winning, of course) and slogans like “Jesus loves me and my new tattoos” and “Putting the Jew in jiu jitsu.”

On the real? Jesus didn’t tap… and neither will any of us in these last days. Praise God for the real face of Christianity that despite what the world thinks of Jesus, we can turn that cheek too and introduce them to another side of a complete God.

Ever heard people say to plan for Christmas, you should begin in the summer? That phenomenon is already happening and raising quite the kerfuffle in the global media.

But for the ubiquitous festive stocking of the yuletide shelves that you would think.

Jesus ad campaign depicting the holy fetus?

So, what happens when this one says "Da-Da!"

First seen on KDFW in Dallas, by way of the UK’s Telegraph, it seems a British-based organization is not only interested in taking another ‘invasion’ but also doing with the Christ child taking a Polaroid… while in-utero.

ChurchAds.net has concocted what they believe to be a quippy ad campaign with the headline, “He’s on his way!”

Francis Goodwin, chairman of ChurchAds, said: ”This is the kind of thing proud ‘parents-to-be’ show their friends and family – passing round the scan of the baby, or even pinning it up in the office. Our poster reflects this new way of announcing the news of a new arrival and places the birth of Christ in an ultra-contemporary context.”

“Ultra-contemporary.” Sweet.

I agree the pregnancy became tangible when I got the print off in two versions of my first child – one, when I saw the full body and two, when I saw the close-up of his business. (What a proud daddy!)

But, do you think Mary would know that her baby boy would one day be posted on a sonogram-ish advertisement plastered all over the UK? Although this is good for the giggle, I feel you ChurchAds.net.

Here’s why:

Research has revealed that 85 per cent of people agree with the statement that “Christmas should be called Christmas because we are still a Christian country”. But it also shows that only 12 per cent of adults know the facts of the Christmas story in any detail.

Folk still pray to Santa-Baby-Jesus-Claus thinking salvation comes in a wrapped box. They’re not as ignorant as they are apathetic.

I applaud efforts like this because at least they are trying to wake folk up and make them think. Albeit, six months early, people are definitely thinking.

Parents? What do you think? The superimposed halo kinda’ throw you off? Don’t let it. Just think about it like this: Jesus really isn’t ‘away in a manger’, he’s warm and cozy in another kind of inn.

Merry Christmas.

I'm too sexy for my Clerics

Am I the only fop that hasn’t seen this about a once-famous girl idol gone swiftly into a realm where no Episcopalian has ever gone before?

Meet Barbie – only she found Jesus… or perhaps raided Madonna’s reject collection. Check out the threads.

Our fashion model is rocking the latest in Episcopal Vicar wear today. Fresh from her spa appointment, the heifers munching on their Funyuns were saying, “Faw-faw-faw-faw-faw.”

And if there mouths weren’t pushing maximum density, I’m certain that would sound like, “Girl, when I get with Jesus, that’s exactly how I’m going to church.”

From WOW News’ Religion News Service:

The 11.5-inch-tall fictional graduate of Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif., has donned a cassock and surplice and is rector at St. Barbara’s-by-the-Sea in (where else?) Malibu, Calif.

She arrived at the church fully accessorized, as is Barbie’s custom. Her impeccably tailored ecclesiastical vestments include various colored chasubles (the sleeveless vestments worn at Mass) for every liturgical season, black clergy shirt with white collar, neat skirt and heels, a laptop with prepared sermon and a miniature, genuine Bible.

I doubt this is an evangelism tool from Mattel, so why in heaven do this? Do the dolts running this age-old brand really believe they will up their market share with this – Episco-Barbie?!

Turns out our evangelical babe isn’t from Mattel at all. It’s a gift from Rev. Julie Blake Fisher, an Episcopal priest in Kent, Ohio to her friend, fellow female priest, Rev. Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew, rector of Christ (Episcopal) Church, in Manlius, N.Y., near Syracuse.

“I got a phone call from my husband who said a large package had arrived; Julie had told me that she was making something for me. She used to be a dressmaker and she makes gorgeous stoles, so I thought she was making me a stole,” said Cleaver-Bartholomew. “When I came home and there was this enormous box, I knew it wasn’t just a stole!”

Fisher had made Episcopal Priest Barbie and a few vestments two years ago for the children in her parish to dress. And now, homely girls everywhere are asking Santa Jesus for this doll. (Incense not included).

You know, this is actually a smart move because as all divas know, black works with everything.

For the Jesus aficionados searching for the latest trinket for your little princess, I wonder what’s next [cue harp music]:

  1. Pentecostal Barbie – She can have the same raggedy hair and little girls will save money as they make her clothes too.
  2. Baptist Barbie – As the women serve in various outreaches, now they know they can look smart and work those pumps.
  3. Jehovah’s Witness Barbie – Good thing it’s only a doll because – like the real-life version – this one won’t talk in church either.
  4. Megachurch Barbie – Accessorize for the Lawd! And, when anorexia hits, rock the clerics and hide those stretch marks, girls.
  5. Mormon Barbie – She will work the Vicar look head-to-toe, only hers will be in 100% polyester. (Pair of Missionary Kens definitely not included).

First, it was prayer in schools. Next, it was gripe at the U.S. Treasury for all that “In God We Trust” mess.

Now, a concentrated group of collegiate nimrods have decided to take on the student body of their Texas institutions demanding “in the year of our Lord” be removed from their diplomas, according to WOW News’ Houston Belief (from the Chronicle).

The catch – and I can’t make this stuff up – the students attend a faith-based institution called Trinity University.

“A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes,” said Sidra Qureshi, president of Trinity Diversity Connection [and resident Muslim]. “By having the phrase ‘In the Year of Our Lord,’ it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.

Hey, uh, Sid. When you were a senior in high school messing with your lovely hijab for graduation pictures, you were thinking about colleges to attend, right? Did Allah hip you to the fact that “TRINITY” was a big clue as to where this particular institution had some allegiance?

Courtesy: Trinity University

Still, nothing, eh? How about this…

“Any cultural reference, even if it is religious, our first instinct should not be to remove it, but to accept it and tolerate it,” said Brendan McNamara, president of the College Republicans. McNamara pointed out that Trinity displays other signs of its Christian heritage, including a chapel on campus, a chaplain, Christmas vespers and a Bible etching on the Trinity seal. “Once you remove that phrase, where do you draw the line?” McNamara asked.

Hello? McFly? Does air get underneath your head covering because you may be getting dizzy.

This story reeks of some tool with the ACLU calling her up and saying, “Yeah. I know you have been going there for a few years already, but have you ever thought about the whole B.C. versus A.D. conundrum?”

Granted, this girl has gone almost 16 years studying some fashion of history where the years were annotated with either B.C. or A.D. Also, she has attended a college in heavily Catholic San Antonio named after the three facets of the triune Godhead. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until now that a sanctimonious weed has sprouted in her staunch Muslim behind.

Seriously?

And prior to what she thinks or has been told in her local Mosque, A.D. does not mean “After Death”. If that were the case, then Jesus’ 33 years on this earth would be the gray zone. A.D. is Latin for Anno Domini Nostri Iesu (Jesu) Christi. And, like it or not, the ministry of Christ is the “turning point of civilization,” which makes 2010 not the year of our Allah.

Sorry, but Neener, Neener, Neener!

Some do not like it, but deal with it in solace because the money in their pocket – although adorned with God’s grace – gets the hippie lettuce from the town’s half-baked loser.

And, despite the dastardly reminder of what year this is, said diploma helps folk get a job outside of waiting for the fry guy to retire so you can stop making those friggin’ shakes all day.

Nonetheless, the PC kowtow express is taking off according to a Trinity University press release:

In the interest of free and open exchange of ideas and thoughts, the University has held a forum to examine the request from a range of viewpoints… in May, the Board of Trustees is expected to consider the question of changing the language of diplomas.

I have a viewpoint, and it’s not all together sanctified but what the hey… hand the scattered few who have a problem with it to graduate and split. If they aren’t happy with it, how about attend Muhammad’s Campus of the Performing Arts or The University of Freethought.

Sorry? Those don’t exist? Then shut up.

Every college diploma in the U.S. has that because it’s called time. It’s not a religious statement; it’s a chronological one. And for both the Julian and Gregorian calendar, so cuss out a Christian and a Pagan if you would like. This is a Presbyterian college, lady and you should have known that attending your first class of English 101.

They aren’t changing… so I suppose you should. Sure, you got your 15 minutes of dumbfounded fame. Sure, you scared the school’s PR flack Susie Gonzalez into writing that shameful press release. But Kushite, please. “Our Lord” isn’t going anywhere. You may however.

Or better yet, ask your nearest campus counselor where the bookstore is located. No, not to purchase a Qu’ran but liquid paper. I hear that stuff will wipe out anything, including that light-headed issue you are currently battling.