This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “better.”
As I was browsing in a local mini-supermarket yesterday, I was approached by an employee asking for my opinion on potential slogans for a new healthy eating promotion they are planning.
She wanted to know which of the two straplines I thought was most effective and why.
The options were:
- Choose healthier options
- Eat well – live life
To be honest, I don’t think either of them are great but I told her I thought the second one was better. “Choose healthier options” just sounds bossy, whereas “Eat well – live life” at least points to the positives a bit more and presents healthy eating as something beneficial.
It got me thinking about people’s perceptions of the Christian faith.
I think a lot of people see it as bossy and controlling – a list of do’s and don’ts. They see it as restrictive and outdated, as dull and boring, as being all about rules and rituals, whereas the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Following Jesus means joy and freedom and hope. It means love and security and purpose and finding your true identity. It means life in all its fullness.
My question is: how can we communicate that to people? I don’t mean with a snazzy strapline, but with our words and our lives.
I’ve begun reading a book called “A Better Story” by Glynn Harrison. I haven’t got very far into it, but I have been struck by one of his points.
Culture often presents self-fulfilment as being the path to joy and fullness:
“Be yourself! You can be anything you want to be! Do what makes you happy!”
It’s an appealing idea. Who wouldn’t be drawn to that?
But too often, Christians come against it with rules and regulations and “the Bible says…”
That approach is unlikely to inspire anyone to change if they have no notion of why they should have respect for what the Bible says.
Harrison suggests that what we need to do is not to simply argue against the story culture tells, but to counter it by telling a better story – by presenting Christianity as something more appealing, as the path to hope and life and freedom, as it really is!
How do we do that in a way that connects with our culture?
I’m not sure. I’m hoping that as I get further into the book there will be some ideas, but it’s certainly something I’ll continue to ponder!