Think Outside The “Church-Box”!

Don’t Loose Authenticity
According to many post-modern Christian leaders, in order to affectively reach the post-modern generation churches will need to “Think Outside The Church-Box”.
Exactly what that means is anyones guess. There are many schools of thought on that and many different methods that may work very well.
What you have to be careful of is to not try too hard to be “cool and relevant” and lose the authenticity that today’s generation is looking for.

A Marketing Lesson
Unilever’s Dove brand (soaps, lotions, etc.) launched a global marketing strategy called “Campaign for Real Beauty.”
The marketing campaign includes images of not-so-model-like women with a variety of features (older woman with gray hair, freckled girl, and a “generously proportioned woman” recruited from everyday America). At first glance the campaign seems a little odd because it doesn’t fit with your typical beauty commercials or ads. After a while, you realize these women are your neighbors, your friends, and your community. (read the whole article here)

What’s The Point?
The point here is to Be Real. Don’t sacrifice authenticity for cool.

Who Are You (or Your Church) Reaching?
Who are you reaching? What does your congregation look like? Who is on your MySpace friends list?

Tell us what you or your church is doing to Think Outside The “Church-Box”!

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About Jimmy Eldridge

I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother and most of all, a follower of our most gracious savior Christ Jesus. Who are you following?

9 thoughts on “Think Outside The “Church-Box”!

  1. I did a series I stole from two places – I stole the idea from Craig Groeshel’s book confessions. I stole the title from Scott Hodge – even lifted the artwork principle – but it was called “Confessions…of a mountain dew addicted, blue jean wearin’ pastor”. Scott launched his series Easter. I just finished mine. For three weeks – not using my usual preaching style from a transcript, I sat in a stool, drank mountain dew and just talked. It was raw and from my heart. I confessed my faults – things like I don’t like a lot of Christians, I really do struggle with my flesh, I sometimes doubt God – and Im even scared of what he asks me to do sometimes. Its probably not so outside the box considering its no where near original. But in the buckle of the bible belt having a preacher three weeks in a row telling a church “I am not here to tell you whats wrong with you – I’m here to tell you whats wrong with me” is different. We picked up some new families just because we were “real”

  2. Dave,

    That is really cool. That is exactly the kind of thing most of “today’s generation” is looking for.
    I have to admit that I like to read your blog and see what you are doing because you are definitely a “think outside of the box” kind of guy.
    Not many people would have had the guts to do what you did to the Easter Bunny. I thought that was freaking hilarious and so did my kids. (my wife didn’t like it though, she doesn’t have a twisted sense of humor like me)

    Peace!

  3. When you write, “Exactly what that means is anyones guess. There are many schools of thought on that and many different methods that may work very well.” that is a very true statement. But, what we should be able to agree upon–and, can’t seem to do–is that what we are talking about is a matter of packaging…not, a revision of the message.

    The message of the kingdom of God–that seems to be the message that Jesus was concerned with and preached–brought liberation and change to many who heard it. But, it was not a message of “easy believism”…it demanded radical repentance, restitution, and the willingness to give up all of one’s posessions at a moment’s notice to follow Him. So, the question is this: Is THAT the message being packaged and “sold” out in the marketplace of ideas? Or, has the message been changed along with the packaging so that the message received in the market place is a message that Christianity’s main benefit is the enhancement of one’s life…rather than a total transformation of one’s life?

  4. I’m in a transition phase right now of my life. (Our church just shut down and I’m moving) but there are some things that I hope are part of my life 24/7/365. I just try to live my life openly. When I’m scared about where God is calling me or what He is calling me to I try to be honest about that. I try to value the person for the person they are. I openly admit that I have more “unsaved” friends then I do “saved” friends. I tell people that I have a lot of problems with organized religion. I want them to know me (warts and all) and I want to know them. I strive (I fail at this a lot) to show people love no matter what they do. The greatest thing that can happen to me is when someone says, “You’re not like any pastor I’ve ever met before.” I always try to bring people back to the idea that whatever their problem is, it isn’t the biggest issue in their life. The biggest issue in their life is what they have/are doing with the person of Jesus Christ. I’m not a cool kid, I never have been so I don’t worry about that too much, but I have to be honest there have been times where I have compromised my testimony in an effort be liked by people. Probably a result of growing up a geek! :)

  5. Sorry but I think this post is weak.

    I owned a marketing company for 10 years, I have an MBA from Pepperdine University and I am currently a CEO of a company that manages over $50 million in business.

    The advice of this post is pabulum even for a business, yet alone a church.

    Jesus isn’t soap. The church is not a business. And all this gibber about thinking out side the box has been dismissed and ridiculed in the business world for years now.

    Joe Martino’s comment about how he asks what people what they are doing with Jesus has far more depth of understanding than the post he was commenting on.

    Come on guys! Christians are called to proclaim the gospel message. This means first and foremost defending and proclaiming it as true. You can do this in writing, verbally, or in another language, or while visiting someone in prison. The point is proclaim the message and quit over-thinking wether or not you are being relevant. The gospel message isn’t relevant or practical. It is much deeper than that, it is TRUE.

    Seriously, telling someone to ‘think outside the church box’ or ‘be real’ is wretchedly shallow and non-sensical advice.

    If you worked for my company and came to one of my management meetings with this advice I’d fire you and replace you with someone who actually knew how to get things done.

  6. Our church has a motorcycle riding group (I’m not part of it) – several times a year they organize rides to different destinations. Apparently they’ve picked up some “interesting” characters who just wanted to hang out with other riders for an afternoon – and they ended up sticking around after the ride.

  7. 07July8e Relevant Christian
    Did you ever try rewriting the creeds in your own words? Let me suggest that you ask people to do that, deleting any parts with which they don’t agree and also deleting any aspects that they haven’t studied enough for themselves so that the theology is their own and not just borrowed from the creeds or modern organizations or charismatic leaders.
    There are several organizations which purport to allow people to study the evidence for themselves. But all of the ones of which I am aware have a doctrinal statement of some kind that is bound to be used as a creed to stifle any real discussion or exploration of the truth. (As you might have guessed, I don’t agree entirely with any of those statements, even if my disagreement is only about the language used to express the ideas.)
    Perhaps if you were to publish a collection of a variety of people’s attempts to paraphrase the creeds, it would stimulate real, independent thought “outside the box”.

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