Domino’s Pizza has recently started a new ad campaign to promote their new pizza.
It’s a little unusual – the ad campaign intentionally discloses some pretty harsh criticism of their past product. They quote actual customers who compare the pizza crust to “cardboard” and the sauce to “ketchup.”
The point of the ad (as the commercial even states) is that they are committed to improving. As viewers, we’re meant to trust them because of their willingness to be honest and re-evaluate their product.
See where I’m going with this?
Is the church like that? It seems in recent years there’s been no shortage of church leaders who want to come out and admit the various ways the church has “gotten it wrong” over the years. There’s been a strong focus in taking seriously the criticism leveled at the church as a whole, and trying to rectify this by reaching out to the unchurched.
This is not a complete thought, but I’ll say it anyway: is it possible that we are so concerned about God’s P.R. Campaign that we forget the central focus of the church (i.e., the proclamation of the gospel)?
In Thom S. Rainer’s book, Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, the research shows that the unchurched latch onto things like strong doctrine, high expectations and vibrant community.
So while I see no problem in honestly admitting the many ways the church has disappointed people over the years, my hope is that we would not stop with mere introspection, but that churches across the world would take steps forward to solidify both their doctrine and mission.
And try that new Domino’s Pizza. It might not be so bad.