A Little Knowledge – What We See Becomes What We Know

Many personal growth, church growth, and outreach how-to books and motivational sermons are “mirrors,” or to bring it back around to the building metaphor, pictures of the décor. They address the appearance. This isn’t a bad thing. Appearance will go a long way when it comes to enticing people to visit your church or ask about your faith. What people see demonstrates the commitment, enthusiasm, and passion of Christ followers.

The problem isn’t the books…

…but rather the fact they are a “little knowledge” that addresses what is seen. When they become the blueprint, ministries and lives are built around these books alone, which means they build their house on the sand. When the storm comes, they shift with the wind until they are destroyed. With no blueprint beyond the aesthetics, people become divided.

Christ followers fight…

..over their purpose and position in the church while people who are not followers of Christ fight to define the purpose and positions of the church. With no plan, no foundation to keep us on the right track, the storm has its way. To calm the storm, an anything-goes attitude often is adopted. Worldly appeal becomes important so that we look good while inside the church; worldly behavior is tolerated to minimize conflict.

Those whose houses are built on the rock…

…don’t rely on how good they look on the outside – what they see does not become what they know. Their house has a plan, a blueprint. A life and a church that is built this way is still seen as beautiful, but what is not seen is what keeps it looking that way. If this is what you desire for your church and for your life, you will need to be humble enough to admit you don’t know everything you will need to shift from what you know to what you can understand…

A Little Understanding – “How-To” Market your Faith Book

I am offended by this title, and I hope you are as well; however, it is not that far off of the path many Christ followers and collective of Christ followers have taken at the urging of popular how-to books…

The marketing of anything requires the selling of half-truths.

If you want someone to buy what you are selling, you will have to make it [look] appealing. There is no requirement to present the tension between the gains made and the responsibilities of possessing what is being presented. This only works when you don’t have to deal with the buyer after the sale. When it comes to following Christ, the “buyer” (please forgive the term, I only used it to complete the metaphor) becomes part of the collective of Christ followers, maintaining a relationship with the “seller/marketer” (please forgive this term as well). This is unlike any comparable buying and selling relationship. Even if we ignore the fact that marketing faith in Christ suggests that what Christ offers is incomplete and requires a PR firm to improve His messages, logic says that half-truths, when discovered, will cause issues that can’t be escaped by the “seller(s)/marketer(s).”

We fix up the outside, we fix up the inside

…we want people to be impressed by our house from the moment they drive up and remain impressed as they enter and look around. We want them to want what we have, never suspecting that there are imperfections, never knowing if the foundation and structure are solid. We do the same with our faith. From the landscaping that is designed to give a great first impression to the décor laid out in such a way that you would never want to leave, we have something to sell, and they are potential buyers

Over the next few months I will be preaching a sermon series using my book Blueprint as a jumping off point. My posts will contain small sections from my book and a link to my sermon.


  1. “This only works when you don’t have to deal with the buyer after the sale.” For a few years, I worked in technical support and them customer service for a mobile phone company. There was very little communication between sales and customer service. Sales was only interested in their monthly stats and units sold. They didn’t explain very much about using the phone or how to turn off “roaming”…it was up to customer service to explain all of those things, but no one ever called customer service until they got their bill and saw hundreds of dollars in “roaming” charges. There’s probably an analogy in this to what you’re saying, I think. The beautiful sales pitch only tells the advantages and nothing about what to honestly expect. (“Roaming” is using towers owned by other mobile phone service providers…but it’s sort of similar to “abandoning the blueprint.”)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s