The Cost of Following Jesus
Luke 9:23-27; 57-62
Introduction: Jesus sure didn't know much about marketing and customer relationships. What sales manager would tolerate a rep that went around discouraging potential customers? Doesn't he know you are supposed to highlight all of the benefits and advantages of your product or service? A good salesman draws attention away from any disadvantages or cost. If you have ever dealt with a car salesman, you know what I'm talking about. He is trained to avoid talking about price until he has you convinced you want the car.
Jesus was also pretty dumb when it came to church growth principles. I say that with respect and deference. But get real! Any preacher or church leader worth his salt knows you need to make it easier, not harder for people to join your group. You first sell them on all the attractive aspects of your church. "We have the temperpedic pew cushions, ten minutes sermons, and five percent tithes. Our air conditioning is cool, our heating zoned, our nursery clean, and our expectations low. First Church, we think six out of ten is above average when it comes to the commandments!"
I am just kidding of course. I believe in church growth. Congregations and their leaders ought to want to reach the unreached and put their best foot forward. A church is not supposed to be a closed country club for members only. But marketing and advertising the church has its limits. We are not in the business of appealing to the lowest motives or selling our selves at any cost. This is why many the excesses of the modern marketing approach to church growth. Some ridicule the approach as Gospel Lite or McChurch because it can easily begin to sound like you're willing to do anything and everything to attract customers.
All the kidding aside, Jesus presents us with an entirely different perspective. He pulls no punches. He never softens his teachings to make them more appealing to t ...
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