There is a clothing store here in Ann Arbor that opened up about a year ago. It advertises clothing for the “cool” college student. I have seen this store at other campuses around the nation. They are trying to compete with Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, and the like.
They appeal to the college student because of their “tight and revealing” clothing for the body-conscious student. They also tout the fact that they are against child labor and unfair wages for the makers of their clothing who live in an under-developed country. These are noble goals, but the bottom line is that I do not know how much longer they will be in business. I hope I am wrong because healthy business competition is good for the consumer.
Just recently my hunch on the early exit of this store got reinforced when they lined their whole store windows with fluorescent lights. It is quite a sight… you just have to see it. It literally lights up a whole section of the block. Even though I don’t have a business degree, I figured out that this is what we call a “in your face marketing strategy” – get people’s attention and then they will be more interested in coming in the store to buy something.
Personally, I want to go into the store and tell the owner or the manager of the store a simple principle that works in life, business, etc – it is not the bells and whistles, but it is the content (quality and the price).
As I passed by this store (I was in the need of “wearing my sunglasses at night”), I couldn’t help but to think about the Church. All the lights, flash, bells and whistles in the world will not cause a person to come to know Christ. Can we “sell” Christianity on the content alone? No matter how we advertise Christianity, the conclusion is: Are people able to see Christ? It is the character of Christ rather than the events and programs that will draw people into eternity. But how will that content be displayed? It is through people who embody the Gospel message… we are truly the walking advertisement for Christ. May we flaunt Him well.