Marketers know a trick: if you make a product scarce, it becomes more desirable. That's why so many products are available "for a limited time." Shopping carts are open only for a few dates; if you miss this chance, you'll have to wait for the next offer, whenever that comes.
We live in a world of marketing tricks. The scarcity trick works. We're often motivated by the threat of losing an opportunity than we are by benefits.
I get why it works. At the same time, it's exactly what we want to avoid as a church.
No Underhanded Tricks
We love this verse in the Bible:
But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:2)
It's better to be up front with what we're all about, and to maintain authenticity and integrity in our actions.
Don't get us wrong. We are not a perfect church. Far from it. We're just the opposite: a group of ordinary people who are struggling along and trying to learn God's ways. We're not perfect; but we're also not gimmicky. We are trying, as best as we can, to avoid hype and marketing tricks. It takes the pressure off us, and we hope it takes the pressure off you too.
A Gentle Environment
I also like this simple formula created by a friend:
Gospel + Safety + Time
Safety: a non-accusing environment. No finger-pointing. No embarrassing anyone. No manipulation. No oppression. No condescension. But respect and sympathy and understanding, where sinners can confess and unburden their souls.
Time: no pressure. Not even self-imposed pressure. No deadlines on growth. Urgency, but not hurry, because no one changes quickly. A lot of space for complicated people to rethink their lives at a deep level. God is patient.
This is what our churches must be: gentle environments of gospel + safety + time. It’s where we’re finally free to grow.
That's what we aim to provide at Liberty Grace Church.
If you're tired of hype and gimmicks, and you are ready for an imperfect but non-pressure filled church, we'd love for you to join us.
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