PUBLICITY is The Key to Growth.
Recently, I was asked what caused a particular Church to increase suddenly in numbers? After analyzing the situation, it all pointed to one individual that publicized what was in the making at the Church. He wrote an intriguing weekly article for the local paper. He created an atmosphere of anticipation and curiosity that brought people together. Once the people started to attend services, then embracing fellowship and sound Biblical teaching helped make them feel, not just included but needed and wanted. That resulted in the people taking over the publicizing of the Church.
I believe this gentleman, who already is with the Lord, must have had the leper in mind that made Jesus known. Jesus had healed the man and told him to be quiet, but he went out and spread the news about what Jesus had done for him. Because of that one person, Jesus had to withdraw from the tows and still the crowds found him in lonely places (Mk.1: 43-45). One person created the curiosity that drew people to meet and hear Jesus. Why did the people believe that person? They could not help but see a healed and transformed person witnessing about Jesus. The same was true of the friend that spread the word about the Church I was privileged to serve briefly.
Publicity of good news is most impressive when one whom we know has had a genuine life changing and lasting experience. We are not thinking of a home-raised prophet that is not accepted but a person that has changed for the better. The man born blind and the raising of Lazarus were powerful publicity for Jesus (Jn.9 and 11). The two examples may be too miraculous. Peter and John, of whom the leaders took notice that they had been with Jesus, are more to our liking (Ac.4: 13-17). Paul too bore the marks of Christ on his body (Gal.6: 17). Jesus commanded that his followers spread the news all over the world (Mt.28: 19-20). Mark 16: 20, which most modern translations omit, has the disciples spreading the news and Jesus backing them with miracles.
Publicity is basic, not just for sharing our faith, but also for making a living or running a business. We can create the best product; yet without marketing it, it will not sell. A lazy or sloppy person or business shall not emanate good news. This is equally true of a nation that would like to hear: “How beautiful are the feet that carry good news of peace, of good tidings, of redemption and of God being in charge” (Is.52: 7; writer’s version).