Thanks to LT over at American Born Chinese Pastor for pointing me to this article about Gen Y’s Most Trusted Brands. Got me to thinking about the church. Shouldn’t we be trusted more than In-N-Out? Now until we consistently serve organic communion, I can understand being ranked below Trader Joe’s, but . . .
Now of course I do not expect a church to show up on a marketing survey, but I suspect even if the questions where framed to ask about community spaces, non-profits, etc. we would not be in the list.
Shouldn’t we too be able to exhibit the same kinds of characteristics that invite trust? It seems that the very things that the church should be are talked about in the survey: real, stripped down, non-adorned, environmentally sound, etc. A few weeks ago in my post "3 Rules of the Naked Pastor" I ranted on this a bit, and this yet again makes me even more convinced that the church, regardless of tradition, needs to be more real.
Over where I hang my pastoral hat we are trying to to this – and occasionally succeed if you read our Yelp Reviews – but every time I begin to believe the hype and our own PR, I fall right back into being the old church guy. I hide behind catch phrases and church sound bites, I tell folks what I think I want them to hear, I basically reinforce the inauthenticity that is so much part of the institutional church as we know it. To tell you the truth, when I am in efficient pastor mode, it is easier. It is much more difficult and scary to be real all the time, during worship, over coffee, online, etc. This posture of DOING church rather than BEING church is so much a part of me that I don’t even know when I do it until it is too late . . . usually after a blank stare or a snarky comment.
But I press on and rely on the GRACE of GOD to comfort me when I know that I was an unhelpful dork or to poke me in the eye when I don’t even realize it, but just keep on talking! Thank you Jesus!
And in case you were wondering here is the list of the The Most Trusted 15 brands of the Gen Y folks.
- Trader Joe’s
- Jet Blue
- In-N-Out Burger
- Ben & Jerry’s
- Whole Foods
- American Apparel
- H & M clothing stores
- Vitamin Water
- Red Stripe Jamaican beer