sorry we missed your call…

below is the link to a voicemail my department received in reference to the direct mail (also below) we sent out for easter 2008. our mailer was a take on Target’s “Expect more. Pay less.” with our ad saying, “Expect more this Easter” with an easter egg shaped target. a harmless parody.

take a listen. and read on. sorry i couldn’t figure out how to embed it.

CLICK TO LISTEN TO THE VOICEMAIL

easter-mailer-front.jpg

easter-mailer-back.jpg

my reason for sharing this is more than the ad.

first, this voicemail made me laugh. as one of the creative minds behind the ad, i rolled my eyes and quickly jumped into defense mode. i become cocky. but after listening again, i remembered his voice. this man’s called before. maybe once or twice a year. his caller id is always blocked and he calls a time of day when no one is here to answer. just to complain about The Church. just as outrageous, just as funny, each and every time.

after listening once more, his voice noticeably shaky, i began to see past this man’s anger just long enough to see the person behind the call. he’s in midst of a battle for his life. his soul. just like we have all been.

my heart is now broken for him. with all our planning and focus on easter, we still missed this guy. again. and it was for him. it saddens me. yeah, he got our mailing, but a lot a good that did. all he saw and he knows about our church is this mailing. he doesn’t know that we actually do all the things that he thinks we should be. he doesn’t know that each thing we do is with people just like him in mind.

him.

i don’t negate that fact that, sure, we had thousands of other visitors come through our door. lives were forever changed through the acceptance of a Savior (yea God!) but i guess i see this man on the voicemail as “the one sheep” that got away. out wandering alone. still missing out on the gift that awaits him.

Matthew 18:10-14
“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”

thoughts on any of this? the ad? the approach? his response? whatever it is, i’m interested in hearing your feedback.

creative chaos

Comments

  1. The funny thing is I was one of those “mega church” doubters for so many years. The perception that “mega churches” are out for the money, budgets that run into the millions while others are closing doors, the abuse of dollars, the appearance of “Sunday social” followers, made me question where I should attend church. Now the key word in that sentence is “was”…I started attending WFC just over a year ago. That was at a particular time that may have caused most people to question whether s/he made the right choice. But I saw in WFC something I personally had not experienced anywhere else, a solid foundation built around loving Christ and following the bible (I know there are others – but this is my experience) – I see in so many at WFC the compassion to reach others across Kansas City, this region and even the world. What this caller appears to want from a church in terms of its outreach is exactly what WFC is doing … and I love it, but I wish he knew more about what is at the foundation – the core – of WFC that drives its ministry. This is not an ad for WFC, rather an outpouring of thoughts from someone who has questioned the role “mega churches” have in our community, region and world…

  2. jennifer

    it’s weird that the guy would say that we should go downtown and feed homeless people because our church does do that . i have personally gone to a soup kitchen a couple of times and fed the homeless with other members of the church .we do all of the things he accused us of not doing.we help people with Aids , we feed and clothe the homeless . i know by personal experience that our church helps, because 2 years ago i was homeless and they helped me.

  3. great blog. great advertisement. i’d definitely visit if i got that in the mail. to me it shows the church cares enough to think out of the box.

  4. Amy

    I have to say–that’s a brilliant ad. :)

    As for the guy, man, he reminds me of so many people I’ve met who are just willing to argue about Christianity until they’re blue in the face, but in the end are crying out for something meaningful. I wonder if he used to be a Christian was hurt horribly or disillusioned by the Church, and now this is where he stands. From his voice, he doesn’t sound that old…maybe in his 20’s or 30’s, which fits the demographic of folks who are walking away from the church. There’s hurt behind the anger. I think it’s cool that you let us know your thoughts on this man. I also weep for him.

  5. Not to be much of a downer, but the J-man is all about the personal relationship. And a mass mailing is about as impersonal as you can get. It’s very cleaver, it’s very trendy, and it appeals mostly to people who prefer the impersonal church.

    Me, I’d prefer the bring-a-friend to church angle, as a member or as a prospective member.

    So many people who “accept a savior” are really disingenuous, and are only mimicking salvation for the sake of acceptance with peers.

    Perhaps next time, you could have an advertisement using the line from that movie, “This time, it’s personal.”

    Sorry for being critical, but that’s cause I do care.

  6. Love your heart and passion. Keep doing everything you can to reach your city with the hope Christ offers. We always get phone calls when we do a mass mailer.

    Kevin, thanks for your comment but don’t get hung up on the methodology bro. You and I don’t get to decide who is and isn’t “mimicking” salvation. I think Crystal is expressing her heart for wanting to go after the “one”. Keep up the great work!

  7. Sad to say, I think I would have had the same initial reaction that you had. I probably would have gone into defensive mode. So glad you came out of that quickly and felt love for this man.

    I think the ad is great….very creative. Keep doing what you’re doing. Different people are reached in different ways. It takes all kinds of creative ideas to reach people for Christ and that’s exactly what you’re doing.

    And one final note: all the charitable works the man mentioned are good things, but while meeting physical needs, we are also called to meet spiritual needs. This is what you are doing and you (and your church of course) are to be commended for that. Keep it up!