This weekend we start our new series, “Stupid People : a Simple Guide to Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy.” Our senior pastor recently observed, “The funny thing is, the title makes us think of others, while others are thinking of us.”
It occurred to me that this could appear to be the sort of shallow, self-help series megachurches and multi-site churches are often criticized for, so I’ll explain our thinking behind that really annoying face on the poster. We try to wrap the straightforward truth of the Gospel message in an intriguing, connecting package. It’s something you could hand to a non-Christian, non-church-going friend that might register with them about a reality in his or her own life. If they come to church, they might see a funny video or a thought-provoking drama, and they will definitely get the undiluted message of God’s love for them. In this series, we’ll be emphasizing how God changes our hearts and our attitudes towards others because he changes us.
Does the Gospel need to be wrapped in a package? Absolutely not. It’s the Word of God, and sharper than any sword. At South Hills we intentionally choose to use this format to help our people connect with others, and it gives us a theme for creative expression. Is it marketing? Yeah, guess so. I might be splitting hairs, but I think there’s a difference between marketing the Gospel (giving it a more attractive or palatable spin) and marketing a message series in which you present the Gospel (biblically and not watered-down). We have people accepting Christ and being baptized almost every week.
And besides, the Bible actually has quite a lot to say about stupid people. Just word search for “fool” or “foolish.”