I can clearly picture those guys that used to visit my college campus, years ago, standing out in the gathering space between McDonalds and the library, waving their Bibles and telling us we were going to hell if we didn't change our ways. They always drew quite a crowd. But it was obvious that most of the students were there not to listen but to challenge, argue with, and taunt them. I doubt anyone felt like they were receiving the Good News.
This all came to mind this Sunday as our youth and college students, in a combined meeting, watched one of the NOOMA videos called "Bullhorn." In the video, Rob Bell shares his concern that these guys who stand around with their bullhorns on street corners, passing out tracks and condemning everyone, are doing Christianity more harm than good. With the dvd as an inspiration, we asked the students what they would do if they could create an ad campaign to share the good news of the church with people outside of Christianity. You can see above some of the ideas we came up with. "Love" was by far the predominant message they wanted to get across. One pair of students suggested passing out cards that said "free food" on them, symbolizing the importance of our shared meal of welcome in communion, and the way we feed each other through fellowship, worship, study, and prayer. The final image above ("And God Said: This Is Not An Advertisement"), created by several of the college students, is meant to emphasize that, unlike most advertisements, we welcome others in with no ulterior motive, no agenda-- other than love.