Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

Can you identity the companies by these slogans?

  •  “Can You Hear Me Now?”
  •  “Just Do It”
  •  “The Quicker Picker Upper”

Companies usually consider certain criteria when creating a marketing slogan or tagline. They look for phrases that will differentiate their brand while helping customers feel good about their product.

Should Christianity's marketing makeover include suffering?

Which leads me to a question…

Do Christians think Christianity needs a marketing makeover?

Silly question? Maybe not.

We might never voice such an opinion, but we often behave as if we think it does.

If you doubt this, consider that variations of the word suffer or suffering are found at least 90 times in the New Testament.

Yet, when we talk about Jesus, how many times do these words enter our conversation? Apart from speaking to others, what about our own relationship with Christ? How often do we consider our own level of suffering for the cause of Christ, other than to work as hard as we can to escape it?

Based on the observable behavior of many Christians in the United States, if Christianity were to have a tagline or slogan, it might be something along the lines of:

  • Christianity: let Jesus bless your socks off!
  • Walking with Jesus is like tiptoeing through life’s tulips.
  • When Jesus steps in, trouble steps out!

Problem is, nowhere in the Bible are Christians promised a life without suffering. In fact, we are told to expect it (John 16:33). What we are promised is that we are never alone in our suffering (Isaiah 43:2). That we will be given the strength to live in and through suffering (II Corinthians 12:7-10). And that suffering refines us to be more like Christ (Philippians 3:10).

It’s natural for us to want to avoid suffering. But Christians are no longer to be ruled by the natural man. Rather, because of new birth, we are ruled by the Holy Spirit. Of course, that doesn’t mean we seek out suffering. Christianity doesn’t require a life of masochism. But when God allows suffering in our life, does our all-consuming purpose become one of escaping our trials as fast and completely as possible? Or do we take the time to seek the Lord’s perspective in our suffering:

  • What needs refining in my life?
  • Who might be watching how I respond to the suffering?
  • What might I learn from this experience?
  • As I am comforted in this experience, how might I comfort others in a similar experience?

Christianity does not need a marketing makeover. But many Christians may need a perspective makeover…and a reminder from Romans 8:28 (NASB) that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

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  1. Dave Fessenden

    Good post, Ava! I would say another word for “perspective makeover” might be “revival.”

  2. Ava Pennington

    So true, Dave!

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