I just saw a billboard promoting a particular church that said “church for the rest of us.” The sign also contained a picture of a very tattooed and pierced person. The idea that the sign was communicating was that the fringes of society not usually accepted in the church can find a place at our church. At first glance this might be an attractive way to let unchurched people know they are welcome at your church. But is this the idea that any church should be communicating?
There is a danger with this type of advertising. There is currently a divide in the church over what is acceptable when it comes to reaching the de-churched, the unchurched and the non-church attenders. But I think we can all agree that throwing our Christian brothers needlessly under the bus is not the way to reach others with the love of Christ.
First of all the church isn’t “for” anybody. The church “is” the body of Christ. A called out group of believers. If anything the church is the bride of Christ and should be “for” Christ alone. But we know what they mean, the church service or the corporate worship time of the church is geared “for” this rest of us demographic.
The idea behind this marketing might seem good to you. Some people do have preconceived ideas that the church is against people with tattoos or won’t accept someone who doesn’t look churchy. The problem is, if they were wondering this, your sign just confirmed their suspicion.