God looks at the inside. Visitors don’t!

Continuing the Richard Reising insights…

Marketing is biblical.

At various times it says, ‘Jesus perceived their thoughts / reasoning in their hearts – and said….’

What was he doing? Managing their thoughts. Reshaping them where neccessary.

We have to have a finger on the pulse of what people think about us.

We have to be aware – and adjust. (that’s not ‘people pleasing’).

A great example occurred at Pentecost.

Acts 2 – in the midst of crazy charismania, when people were thinking, ‘What on earth is this?”

Peter stood up to manage their perceptions; ‘We’re not drunk as you perceive, this is what the Bible says, let me explain…’ Peter was sensitive enough to know, ‘I have to manage this perception.’ Result? Thousands were won to Christ that day!

In fact, God is the ultimate marketer. If you’re a Christian, it’s because He did whatever it took to reach YOU. He knew exactly what to do.

Everything the church does ‘markets’ for good or ill.   Someone will quote 1 Sam 15:7 where it says, ‘God looks at our heart.’ Well thanks be to God!

BUT look again.

Where does man look?

The outside.

People coming to check out God at your church won’t know your hearts, they’ll have to evaluate you by the outside.

People will come this Sunday and if they don’t know how to get in the door, and nobody welcomes them and connects, and nobody explains where their kids will be looked after – they will evaluate all that.  It’s what they do. We all do it when we go for a meal or wherever.

Now if you’ve been in the church a while, we let things go (people’s weirdness etc) because ‘we know their heart.’ But newcomers don’t know – so they won’t just let it go like we do.

1 Kings 10:4 tells about the visit to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba (she’s royalty herself so not easily impressed!) but she was impressed by what she SAW – what she saw pointed to the wisdom of Solomon. It wast what she heard. It wasn’t what he said, but what he did. The place. The organisation. The excellence of delivery. How they dressed. Their processes. Even their entrance way and the steps blew her away (the welcome?). It took her breath away.

Her response? ‘Happy are your men and servants.’ that by the way is how to get great teams – run them wisely!

Remember, however much time is spent on the sermon, before the message ever gets preached, our systems have been preaching. What do yours proclaim to the guests God is sending for you to be hospitable to?


If there are no signs anywhere pointing to the loos or the coffee is, that says, ‘We know where things are, and we don’t care that you don’t.’

Inconsistent and poor artwork/ logos on your handouts say, ‘We’re amateurs. We don’t know who we are.’

Do everything with your eyes on the viewpoint of the OUTSIDER. Ask them what they think and be prepared for some surprises. Non spiritual people make NATURAL decisions about church.  You set the tone!