I’m not against bars. I’m not against shot glasses. I’m not against churches, or even churches trying new things. I am against churches giving away shot glasses in bars so that they can “impress people who don’t [go to church].”
There is a fundamental problem with using marketing like this, which is that it is never possible to satisfy people’s insatiable hunger for the new, the next, the bigger and better. You want to give away shot glasses with your church’s name to bar patrons? Fine. But what’s next? Filling shot glasses in your church? (Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind having the annual meeting of a congregation over a few beers. I think it would make for fewer disagreements.)
You may be able to rely on marketing ploys to get people into the building, but I guarantee that unless you have the funds, the space, and the personnel to keep up with whims and trends, it is likely they aren’t going to stay. So your attendance is at 700. How many of those come regularly, and how many are there to check out the church whose name is on shot glasses? The marketing game will never be won by churches, nor should it be. We’re not selling a product; we’re not attracting customers; we’re not moving units. We’re preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and distributing His gifts. If you have to spice that up, you either haven’t understood the Gospel in the first place, or it’s not the Gospel that you’re preaching (see the subject of the previous post).