Recently the makers of a popular nighttime cold medicine came out with a new medicine that is just for sleep. When I first heard about it the nurse inside of me screamed, “I bet it’s just Benadryl.” Well, the next time I was at the store, I checked it out; and guess what, IT’S JUST BENADRYL. Don’t believe me, check out the active ingredients of both drugs… Yup, same drug and they are charging more for it.
Now, the point of this post is not to out a popular pharmaceutical company. Rather, as I watched this commercial today it struck me that the church has been doing the same thing for years. We put a new label on the same old stuff and call it doing church differently. Maybe it’s contemporary worship, or relevant, or missional, or whatever the next big thing is in church leadership. I’m not saying that there is no value in these things, but if they are just fancy new labels on the same old product, then we are doing a disservice to people.
What can we learn from this?
Putting new labels on what we do is ok. However, we just need to make sure that if we do this that there really is a new product inside. If we are going to tell people that we are doing church differently, then let’s make sure we are doing it differently. Let’s make sure that aid we are changing that we are changing things that matter. And most of all let’s remember that while the methods may change the message never can. Never sacrifice the message for the sake of a new label.Matt Norman
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