Why Christian Movies Suck.

This is my writing assignment from this morning on the Marketing Seminar with Seth Godin.

Most of my life is spent working with Christians who are somewhere on the professional spectrum in the arts. It’s amazing how much of this course has brought me back to theological reflection, and reminded me why I decided to cut a very different path 12 years ago.

Most Christians in the arts confuse brand marketing with direct marketing. Or to rephrase this in “Christianese:” Rather than communicating the culture of heaven and building connection, they interrupt telling their story and stop creating relationships by forcing the audience to hear a quick sermon and “make a decision.”

This was the money quote from Seth in this lesson:

“If you’re going to do direct marketing, do direct marketing. Test and measure. If you’re going to do brand advertising, do brand advertising. Don’t distract yourself (or interrupt the storytelling and experience you’re creating) by trying to get an immediate, measurable response.”

Most Christians in the arts that I know relegate the story and the experience they are creating trying to get an immediate measurable response–getting someone to recite a cliche prayer.

In the end they fail on both points–the experience is subpar (a friend in Scotland calls it “ignorant cheese”) and you have burned your audience because they paid to have an experience or be told a story. And since you burned your audience, you have hurt the brand–the Christian Gospel. The Gospel is about a culture, not about the “Sinner’s Prayer.”