Atheist Selling Jesus

How would a secular marketing bloke market the church to Aussie pagans?

Here’s the result.

A few quotes to whet your appetite:

“I’ve had lots of clients wanting to update their image,” says the Melbourne strategy director of FutureBrand. “But I don’t think I’ve ever come across one that has quite as many problems as the church.”

Why Jesus? “That was the only place we had to go,” Kinnaird says. The research shows that the church is almost an insurmountable obstacle to the campaign. “The church was seen as the problem, not the solution,” he says.

“The problem we detected from our research was that a lot of Australians see Christianity as being for losers,” Kinnaird says. “Focusing on personal crisis as the reason for talking to the church would simply reinforce the existing perception that the Christian church is a place for people who have failed.”

Surely it’s a stretch to separate the son of God from religion? “Jesus wasn’t about religion, when you read him,” Kinnaird insists. “I’m a self-confessed atheist brought up in a religious school. Rereading the Bible, Jesus is quoted as making the explicit point that people who consider themselves pious but don’t behave in a way that’s consistent with piety are the least worthy.” And often the ritual and trappings of the church just get in the way of the message, he says.

Personally I doubt this is money well spent (I think the marketers doubt this is money well spent) but I am interested in the line an atheist marketing guy takes when he is given such a task.

When you’re a missionary who plants ‘churches’ its pretty difficult to read this kind of stuff, because it makes you wonder if its ever gonna go anywhere. The perceptions are so negative out there. And yet at the same time I feel what Bill Hybels says when he says ‘the local church is the hope of the world’. (yes, if you want to be pedantic – Jesus is the hope of the world – but he hopes his church will get off its butt and do what its supposed to do)

Thanks Hirschy for the heads up.

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