This morning when I drove into church there was a big Pepsi truck out front with its big red, white and blue logo. When I saw it, I assumed there was a Pepsi man inside, refilling the 5 new Pepsi machines that were installed last Friday.
Last weekend was Dedication Weekend for our new Church building and community center. There was an open house, a dedication service, Sunday morning activities and a huge concert on Sunday night. Perhaps total attendance reached nearly 4000 people.
I thought about the eight years of church start up in rented facilities, the energy expended to accumulate 600 plus people to form the nucleus of the new church, the time and effort and funding to design and build a big building, and the personnel and planning and administration it will take to develop and maintain a community center to influence this neighborhood for Christ.
And then I see one lone Pepsi guy trucking in crates of cola.
Pepsi didn't build the building or do the advertising or line up the speakers or learn the music or provide crowd control or clean up the mess. All they did was bring in the Cola. And the church provided the forum to expose 4000 people (or maybe 2000 people twice) to Pepsi.
It occurred to me that it's great to have a portable product like Pepsi, where you can do centralized advertising to represent all the bottling plants and all the sales reps and then just send one man around to all the forums of life to offer the product. How much more efficient than if Pepsi had to build buildings and develop programs of music and athletics and recruit crowds in competition with every other stadium and music hall and program in life in order to deliver their product. It would take a long time to make a Pepsi drinker out of every human on earth if they had to get them into stadiums to experience their product!
Maybe the church could adopt some form of the Pepsi method. We could offer the services of itinerant chaplains who would provide Christian counsel for troubled workers. Or perhaps some church people could actually become employees of the various secular institutions to offer our product in their venue on an ongoing basis.
It makes me wonder if the church should consider offering chaplain service to all the local organizations and businesses. Every kind of human institution has personnel problems - weaknesses, failures, conflicts, and dysfunctions. Some have gone to the trouble to hire chaplains on staff. Maybe they would be open to calling on our church for chaplain service.
Going one step further, perhaps they would hire church people (Christians) to come work in their facilities as regular employees. These people could be the church's inside "Pepsi man" for those institutions. Perhaps the church's product could be effectively delivered in that manner.