In his article, “A ‘Different’ Kind of Church…’, Dave Terpstra observes that marketing techniques are frequently entering the church and putting many churches in a posture of competition and pride. “General Motors launched its Saturn brand in 1990 with the tag line, ‘A different kind of company, a different kind of car.’ GM believed that they could carve out a market niche by addressing the collective American psyche’s negative view of car dealers. They were right.” This kind of marketing strategy—pointing out the faults of the larger “industry” and promising to “be different” is a strategy many churches are adopting (Dave Terpstra, “A ‘Different’ Kind of Church: How Secular Marketing Is Fueling Church Competition,” CT Pastors, April 2006, https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2006/april-online-only/different-kind-of-church-how-secular-marketing-is-fueling.html). There’s nothing wrong with celebrating differences in local churches, but when our attitude is like the one noted in the GM Saturn campaign, we differentiate ourselves by not welcoming others and instead “spreading malicious nonsense” (3 John 1:10).
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