Witness

Advertising is what I do…and until recently I never really put it together with all aspects of my life…that is until I came across the idea that what I do for my clients on a daily basis in advertising is what I should be doing on a daily basis for Christ.  In the advertising business I continually strive to work for the client…coming up with slogans or a sales pitch that will get the name of the business out to the community and make the public familiar with the product.  Another aspect is trying to find a way to familiarize each company with just one phrase that will forever be an association to that business.

Think about it…some of the greatest slogans in advertising that when you hear it, you know what they are talking about…Here are just a few:

DeBeers Diamond Company coined the phrase, “Diamonds are Forever” in 1938, and is probably one of, if not, the greatest slogan in the history of advertising.  The goal of advertising is to turn the product into a slogan to familiarize the consumer with the product with just one phrase.  DeBeers figured out a way to make their slogan as sturdy as their product…coming up with a slogan that is forever…70+ years and still going strong.

“Just do it” – is another slogan that has become immortalized with the name Nike beside it.  Nike coined the phrase to get individuals thinking that if they were to just use the product they could succeed by just doing whatever it was they wanted to do.  It is a line about attitude…a line of confidence…a simple message…Just DO it.

“Don’t leave home without it” – A statement that hits everyone in more than one way.  I dare say that there is not a single person who has never forgotten something important at home, and realized it when it was far too late.  American Express used this same philosophy to reach the American public…Don’t forget it, and they haven’t!  It was a philosophy that lead American’s to think about a card that they never knew when they would need it, but wanted to make sure they had it in case they ever did.

“Good to the last Drop” – Maxwell House; “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”; “I’m lovin’ it” – McDonalds; and the list goes on and on.  It is hard for us to hear these slogans and not think of the product that is associated with those few words.

Nike has started a new campaign recently…”Witness”…it started with Lebron James, and has been used for Stephen Curry as well as others.  One word…great meaning…”Witness”…I remember one of the first commercials that Nike used to open this campaign.  A commercial with many of Lebron’s highlights, showing off his skill…and it simply said, “We are all witnesses.”

I’m not saying this to compare Lebron to Christ…the reason I’m saying this is to get the point across that we should use that slogan in our lives as Christians.  Our job as Christians is to get out the name of Christ.  We are to advertise for Christ in our personal lives to the point where we are basically walking billboards for God.

What am I saying?  I’m saying this…that we should show the highlights of what Christ is doing in our lives, in the lives of those around us, in a world that has forgotten their God…we should be the highlight reel for what God is doing in our life…and then, end the reel with the statement…”We are all witnesses.”

Nike wanted people to adopt that principle about Lebron, because they were trying to get the public to realize that they are witnessing greatness in the sport of basketball…we should want people to adopt that principle about Christ because we want them to see the greatness of God in the lives of those who love him.  That is what Jesus told the disciples prior to his ascension into Heaven.  In Matthew 28:16-20 we see that Jesus told the disciples what to do after his departure…

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”

— Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)

Jesus took his ministry seriously…he lived his life as a witness for his Father…and showed us how to do the same thing.  That is why Jesus took the time before he went on to let his followers know it was now their game.  He had taken the ball, scored the points, and put the team up…it was now up to the rest of the team to continue the witnessing process…which is where we come in.

Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” He said this to let them know that he was in full control…because God had given it over to him.  He then continued saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” to show that it was now in their hands to spread the word.  But probably the biggest key to the entire section is this…the final line…the promise of Christ for us in a broken and troubled world…”And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus says this to offer encouragement…he is saying…I’m a witness…”We are all witnesses.”

This carries over into the lives of each person who has dedicated their life to spreading the Gospel.  How do I know that this carries farther than just the eleven who were there speaking with him that day?  Take a look at John 17…the prayer in the Garden.  Jesus took the time to pray for the twelve…Jesus took the time to pray for their ministry…and then Jesus took the time to pray for you and I…

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

— John 17:20-21 (ESV)

”…but also for those who will believe in me through their word…” asking that everyone would be part of the same church…would be unified in one belief just as God and Jesus were one…Jesus asked that we be the embodiment of ONE church…just as he and God were one.  Think about this for a minute….when you are advertising for Christ…what are you pushing?  Are you pushing Christ?  Or are you talking about the pastor or the church and the functions that you are having?

Are you taking the time daily to discuss Jesus and his impact in your life?  Not just mention what your ‘church’ means to you…because if it stops at the building…if it stops at the pastor…you’re missing the point.  Take the time today to advertise for Christ…you’ll be amazed at how it will bless you…

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age!”  — Matthew 28:20

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