Maybe the title grabbed your attention, but this post really isn’t about anything happening next week. It is about all the hype that so many pastors are sharing on their blogs and websites. It has been bothering me for quite some time, so I had to share my thoughts.
It’s great to be excited about what God is doing in your church, but week after week of hype really gets old. Differentiating between hype and excitement is not always easy, but when a pastor states that every week is going to be the greatest ever, when they say that every series is going to be unbelievable, and when they say that every song their band plays is “off the hook”, then I have trouble believing what they say.
First of all, let’s really define what “hype” is. In advertising, hype is making exaggerated claims in order to get people’s attention. Hype is manipulation. Hype is trying to get people to do something out of emotion. A problem that I see is that many pastors think the only way they can get people to come is to exaggerate what is going to take place. It’s an emotional bait and switch tactic to get people to show up. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Sometimes our services aren’t great by the world’s definition. Sometimes our music is far from perfect, sometimes our events don’t flow smoothly. But the Holy Spirit still shows up, people’s hearts can still be changed. It doesn’t have to be over the top to be authentic. In fact, hype creates a shallow experience that is based on emotion and not genuine life change.
When we constantly hype everything we do, we create an environment that pushes gimmicks instead of truth. We are tempted to do something even more over the top to get peoples attention, instead of focusing on what God wants us to say. I believe in creativity, I believe in enthusiasm, but I don’t believe in exaggeration or manipulation. Let’s cut the hype, and focus on communicating God’s truth effectively and creatively, without exaggeration and hype.