bits from bob....

Product or Packaging? Product and Packaging!

by Robert J. Young
©, 2003, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

A friend recently wrote an article applying these two marketing approaches to religion. He observed that while many people are lured by packaging more than product, the bottom line for people dedicated to God's will is always the product. Is this product spiritual? Is this a quality product? Is this of God? Is this product gospel?

Since people are lured by packaging, we must also pay attention to the package in which we wrap the gospel. The best product in shoddy, shabby wrappings will sit on the store shelf unexamined. We cannot afford inattention to the packaging, however repulsive that may seem. Our title is not an "either/or," it is a "both/and."

Consider four packages in which the gospel is wrapped.

Two conclusions seem obvious. First, let us never compromise the gospel product! Even when Paul preached on Mars Hill with multiplied secular quotes, he preached gospel. Second, let us never hesitate to put the unchanging Word of God in packaging the lost people in our world will "pick up" for closer examination. Communicating the gospel to non-Christian cultures demands different "connecting points" than preaching the gospel in Christian cultures. Cross- cultural communication is no easy task, and opinions about the best methods will vary, but any church sincerely desiring to reach the lost must understand the challenge--on the mission field abroad, and on the mission field next door. Taking the gospel to our secular world more and more demands cross-cultural communication. Such demands both product and packaging. The proof may be in the product, but the appeal is in the packaging. Both/and!

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Last updated October 9, 2003.