Marketing Christianity

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JonC δοῦλος, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    What do you think of businesses that market themselves as “Christian businesses”? I am curious as I there was an ad on the radio today for “God Before Money Motors”…or GBM in Nashville TN. They are presented almost as a ministry...selling you a car. I wonder the appropriateness…is it “witnessing,” or is it marketing?

    My situation is that I work for a company that is a "Christian company" in that the owner is a Christian and he strives to run his company in accord with Christian values. But one thing that he does not do is advertise as a "Christian company" because he believes it is taking advantage of people and "using" the Church for profit. Should he advertise his faith? Would that be marketing Christianity for personal gain? What of those that do, i.e., companies like GBM?
     
  2. JonC

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    I’ll add this:

    We looked at a job last month. During our conversation the owner mentioned he attended a certain church…it turned out our potential customer attended the same church. This bothered the owner, he told me that if he had known he would not have mentioned his LOCAL church affiliation. While he views his company as a “Christian company,” he is adamant that he should not profit from his faith.

    I see ads and companies daily that promote themselves as “Christian.” Now, I know that there is no such a thing as a “Christian company.” People (individuals) are saved, not companies. But our definition I suppose would be companies like Chik-Fl-a, Hobby Lobby, etc. I applaud their stance. But I wonder when companies “cross the line.” Certainly…well…IMHO…GBM crosses the line. But that is an extreme example. When does a company go from evangelism to profiteering?
     
  3. Zenas

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    A man running for judge in Kentucky has a campaign symbol consisting of a traditional wooden cross. The scales of justice hang from each end of the cross beam. I think that's a little over the top.
     
  4. ktn4eg

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    I've noticed that there are some businesses that advertise the "fact" that they consider themselves to be "Christian" businesses. However, none of these businesses that do this have ever publicly explained what exactly are the criteria for being considered as "Christian" businesses.

    While I suppose it's OK for a business to call itself a "Christian" business, I don't really see what their reasoning is for doing so.

    IOW, by advertising that they are "Christian businesses," does that mean that only Christian people are welcomed as users of whatever product or service these businesses provide ? Does it mean that every one of that business's staff and employees are Christian?

    I suppose I could come up with other questions about what exactly constitutes being called a "Christian business," but I think that you catch my drift.
     
  5. Salty

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    When I worked for a Christian Radio Station (for profit -not ministry) we published a Christian Business Directory.

    The purpose was so that Christians could support other Christians. A side note, we would like to think he would give offerings from his profits to his church as well.

    In fact about a month ago, I needed some carpentry work done in my home. I dug out my CBD - from 1988 - and called Petra Builders. He came and did an excellent job. In addition, we had a great time of fellowship.

    I do not limit that to just Christians, I will also try to support business owned by Veterans as well.
     
  6. Zenas

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    I suppose holding one's self out as a Christian business has a limited appeal. A couple of times a year a new person will come in and ask me if I am a Christian. When I answer in the affirmative they seem relieved.
     
  7. Yeshua1

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    that is what the local Christian station does, as it advertises other christian businesses, as ones to call and contact in order to keep business among people of God...
     
  8. Salty

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    Being a Christian business was not a pre-requite for adverting on our station.
     
  9. InTheLight

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    Unfortunately it's been my experience here in Minnesota that businesses that tout the idea that they are Christian have been less than ethical. As a businessman I've met people that want my business that will inform me, during the give-and-take of the sales pitch and back-and-forth questioning, that they are Christians. This is not something I asked nor something I wanted (necessarily) to know. After a business relationship is established I come to find out that these people misrepresented themselves and their abilities and products, don't pay their bills, etc. It has happened on numerous occasions, enough to send up red flags.

    I've come to believe if a business puts the little fish in their ads they believe they've got a built in (naive) customer base that is biased to do business with them.

    In my voracious reading habits, I actually ran across a novel that explored this idea: "The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher"

    Meet Ryan Fisher—a self-assured real estate agent who’s looking for an edge in the market.

    While watching a news special late one night, he sees evangelical Christians raising their hands in worship. It’s like they’re begging for affordable but classy starter homes.

    Ryan discovers the Christian business directory and places an ad complete with a Jesus fish. His business doubles in a week.

    But after visiting an actual church, Ryan realizes that with his business savvy, he could not only plant a church—he could create an empire.

    The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher is a hilarious, spot-on, and often heartbreaking satire in the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Perrotta, and Douglas Adams.

    'Screenwriter Stennett offers a satirical look at a non-Christian's ascent to pastor of a megachurch in this engaging, highly readable novel. Ryan Fisher is a 28-year-old real estate agent who doesn't believe in God, but lists himself in the Christian Business Directory (along with a Jesus fish symbol) to beef up sales. He and his wife, Katherine, attend church to validate his new religious image, where he sees the possibilities of utilizing business principles to create his own megachurch.
     
  10. Salty

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    Let the buyer beware.

    True, just because a businessman puts in a fish, does not mean he is ethical, but I have found that most are.

    If I came across an unethical businessman, I would not have him advertise in our directory or on air commercials.

    Bottom line - it is the responsibility of the consumer to check out references.

    As I said before, I generally want to support Christians in their businesses
     
    #10 Salty, Aug 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2014
  11. Jkdbuck76

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    The two greatest dirtbags I've ever had the misfortune of conducting business with were in-your-face "Christians". One shafted us for $28,000 and the other one accused us of price fixing. And when we pushed back, he later claimed he never accused us of price fixing.....and I was sitting right there when he said it! This was the same guy who called me up and used a phony name once...thinking I'd be stupid enough to forget his voice.

    So, no. I'm NOT at all impressed when business people go out of their way to tell me how "Christian" they are. The real Christians ACT like Christians.
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    My experience and the experience of friends is that when a company advertises itself as "Christian" it is all too often anything but Christian. I have a good friend who for years would hire only workmen who advertised themselves as Christian. She was almost always cheated. For me the label "Christian company" is a red flag warning.

    Sad, but true.
     
  13. Salty

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    It is a shame when "Christians" act like that.

    going back to Jkdbuck76; I bought a business from a Baptist preacher. It was only later that I found outright lied to me on some issues. In addition, I found out he was paying people under the table. Not only that, he kept no business records.
    The big problem is that I trusted him. I lost my shirt on the business. yes, Crabby - may I quote you: "...Sad, but true. "

    Epilog - after loosing the business, I went back to NY. I got a job as a driving instructor. The owner, was not a Christian. Yet, his business dealings with me was totally above board. He never once questioned me. ( and there was no reason to) In the course of the business, I would turn in - sometimes $1000 a week. There were times he would just come to my house and pick up the money - even if I wasn't home. We had an excellent business relationship.
     
  14. JamesL

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    I've never been a fan of overtly "Christian" people or businesses.

    I used to own a remodeling company, and did a lot of advertising. Newspapers, phone books, radio, flyers, etc. I made it a practice to not throw out Christian, just because it irks me. Just like I'm not crazy about Jesus bumper stickers.

    I did have two exceptions in my advertising. I had a "traffic brought to you by..." spot on a Christian radio station, which basically consisted of an on-air thank you from the station followed by my phone number.

    The other was a Christian yellow pages called The Shepherd's Guide. I had my normal ad in it, with one exception. There was a voluntary statement of faith we could sign. And with that, the publisher would add a small shepherd logo in the corner of the ad. I was curious, though. Weren't all the advertisers believers? Why the logo? Turns out not every advertiser was a believer, and they wanted to give a way for users to identify those who had signed the statement of faith.

    Once, a man at church told me he saw my ad there, and the logo. Then he asked...So, being a Christian business, all of your employees are believers? I told him I didn't know. He called me a hypocrite to my face. "how can you call yourself a Christian business if you have unbelievers working for you?

    I told him that logo in my ad meant two things. One, that my business is owned by a Christian. Two, that I do my best to run my business by Christian principles. And that the best way to run a business by Christian principles is to have only non-Christian employees.

    He was so offended that he never spoke to me again
     
  15. Salty

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    I believe that comes under the heading of anti-discrimination laws - that is it is illegal to refuse advertisement based on religion. The logo, as stated is to indicate the owner/manager is a Christian and runs the business with Christian ethics.


    Unbelievable -

    Did he ever think that by a non-Christian working for you - that employee might come to the Lord?
     
  16. righteousdude2

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    Me thinks ....

    The church has been under the direct and indirect influence of Madison Avenue for a long time now!

    My first job as an associate pastor caused me to wonder about how scripted the larger churches are? My Senior pastor had me in command of the Sunday services in a way I was not used to or expected. He wanted me to plan out the service with a script as to how long each hymn, prayer and other activity would take, and to visualize and then put on paper where I wanted each person on stage to be at any particular time!

    I thought he was kidding me, but that was my job, and once he approved my choreography of the service; I called a staff meeting and gave each person the plan. It was too micromanaged for me, and I did not remain on staff that long!

    The pastor told me, that the reason he did this was to make sure everything went smoothly and looked professional to the church! I guess some pastors are more concerned about a good image for the people and not about what pleases God? He would tell me, "Paul, a polished approach to presenting the Gospel, impresses the giving, and that is the bottom line."

    I have always been a more hang-loose kind of guy. I didn't care if we started and ended at a set time. I didn't care where a person stood, and how they got to and from that place on the stage. I didn't care if a praise hymn or song went over. If the Spirit was moving, I went with it!

    And this was not just that one pastor. I found this to be true with two other pastors I worked with over the years. Of course, they were not as strict as that first guy!

    Yeah, I think Madison Avenue is helping to market some pastors and their churches! But, the good thing is, I don't believe Madison Avenue will matter to God.
     
  17. InTheLight

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    Need some trees trimmed and had kept advertising flyers that have been mailed to me over the past few months. Going through the flyers today and one has the Christian fish symbol. Went to their web page, "About Us" section.

    [The owner is a guy named Jeff.]

    Kyle is Jeff's nephew and trusted tree climber. He lives in Pierz, Minnesota with his daughter and girlfriend.

    Derek is the closest to a nephew-in-law as you can get. He has a son at home with his girlfriend Erica, who is Jeff's neice.

    Rick has been friends with Jeff for 20+ years. A hard worker and mechanic, he lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota with his girlfriend. He loves to have a good time and loves to make a friend.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    I do not care of they do or not so long as they act with integrity if they do.
     
  19. InTheLight

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    What??

    Anyway, they advertise their Christianity and then list that most of the crew are cohabiting and having babies outside of marriage.
     

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