We celebrated our daughter Reagan’s 4th birthday yesterday. (It’s actually today, but Monday is our family day off, and have you ever met a four year old who would not want to get their presents a day early?)

One of my “Daddy Duties” is to remove toys from their packaging. (“Mommy Duties” include: buying the presents, making the cake, buying the decorations, answering at least a million questions about the presents, cake, and decorations, and putting up with me. ) It may seem like “no big deal” to remove the packaging from toys (especially when compared to Michele’s list) but it is a serious pain! Some time in the last few years toy companies have fallen in love with wire ties and twist wraps. I consider myself to be a pretty mechanically apt sort of guy, but it is seriously easier to pull the engine out of my old truck than it is to get Barbie out of her package! (Besides pointing out the fact that I really should consider being a “hand model”, the picture to the left shows how much “hardware” is used to secure a single toy…seriously)

What does this have to do with anything? Just this: I’m sure the toy companies have a “good reason” for packaging their products like they’re made of plutonium. I’m sure it makes for less shipping breakage. I bet it cuts down on in-store pilferage. (I can barely get the box open at home with an afternoon and a garage full of power tools at my disposal.) They’ve simply forgotten one little aspect of their business… the consumer!

Packaging matters! We may be “selling” the “Best News Ever” as churches but if we forget to “package” it in a way that is accessible to the public we have failed! Consider this: Surveys show that Americans get most of their information and “opinion guidance” from Movies, Television, Magazines, Websites and Blogs…yet the primary method churches use to communicate the Good News is the “Lecture” (preaching). When is the last time you or one of your neighbors or friends attended a “public lecture”? Before the proliferation of inexpensive printing and of course electronic media, public lectures we quite popular and well attended. Churches and “revivals” were also… Hmmm. I’m not suggesting that we should discontinue preaching, I am a preacher after all. I’m just saying that opening our church buildings on Sunday mornings and wondering why more of our friends and neighbors don’t attend our “God lecture” may not be the best packaging. What is “good” and “comfortable” for the Church may be a real pain to “unwrap” for our non-church attending friends, family, and neighbors…

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