Church Doesn’t Suck Billboard

March 16, 2007 by

GracePoint's Church Doesn't Suck campaignApparently it’s church billboard week. First it was “Satan “ in the copy, and now it’s “Sucks.” GracePoint Church in Wichita, Kan. has launched a billboard campaign that’s drawing criticism, thanks to the headline, “Church Doesn’t Suck.”

“We wanted to speak directly to the people who have maybe given up on the church, maybe they’ve given up on god,” says pastor Bryson Butts. “I believe the church has got to get in the game and to speak a message that will be relevant to this culture. The message doesn’t change but the methods have to change.”

That’s a familiar refrain we’re happy to see spreading. Of course not everybody is happy completely on board with the campaign. (link via CT’s Weblog)

Update: Kirk Longhofer (of the ‘not everybody’ link above) wants to correct us: “I in no way say I’m not happy about it. In fact, my post says I hope they’re successful. I simply question whether they’re going to be effective. I agree entirely that we have to ‘get in the game’ as Bryson says. I don’t think this is a very effective way to do that.”

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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12 Responses to “Church Doesn’t Suck Billboard”

  • Todd
    March 16, 2007

    So do you think this will be an effective campaign?
    I’m in complete agreement with Butts’ rationale. I believe we’ve got to get in the game. I just fear that this off-the-bench effort is going to be ineffectual due to the “show me” rather than “tell me” attitude many have about the church.
    I guess my overall point is saying that you’re relevant doesn’t make it true – or in this case, saying Church doesn’t suck doesn’t make it true.

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  • Sarah
    March 16, 2007

    I’m with Todd on this one.
    It would make me take a closer look at this particular church though; and give them a chance to “show me”.

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  • Kirk Longhofer
    March 16, 2007

    Hey… let’s be ACCURATE here.
    This post states I’m not happy with this campaign. WRONG.
    I just don’t think it’s going to be very effective with folks who aren’t connected to church.
    Much as Todd and Sarah have said… just saying it doesn’t make it true.
    A post-modern, “not hostile to, but not engaged with the church” person is going to look at that billboard and do what? Will they check out the web site.
    I’m not sure.
    I do think that STORY is a LOT more effective. Take a look at for an example of the same kind of campaign (billboard driving traffic to web site) that uses compelling story.
    Much more effective. Tell me who you are. Don’t tell me (or imply) that others suck.

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  • Brandon
    March 17, 2007

    If I think church sucks, you telling me it doesn’t, doesn’t change my mind. In fact, the very idea that you acknowledge it probably confirms my feelings.
    Show me why you are great, why God is great, and why I’m missing out by not being there. Maybe then I’ll give you a chance.
    Plus, using a really sucky billboard design doesn’t help much either. yuck.

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  • Drew
    March 17, 2007

    At least they are trying to reach the people and change their mind… and maybe it wouldnt change your mind, but then again, i wouldnt know, so maybe it would.
    Its a campaign; maybe its a series of different signs some to make you hink, but that gets your attention.

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  • Jason McCoy
    March 20, 2007

    I’m not against the idea of what these billboard campaigns are trying to do (in engaging people to think differently about the church)but I think that the way they are doing it is very ineffective.
    The fact is, people DO think the church sucks…and there are actually some pretty valid reasons they think that. There is a great writing saying of “show, don’t tell” that I think applies here.
    Here is what I would consider a really great example of that…check it out and see what you all think?
    (this is for a new church plant in NYC)

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  • Paul McGillivary
    March 27, 2007

    i guess it all depends on whether that billboard is all hype…what if the church doing the marketing really does suck? it would be a good discussion to find out what they mean by “not sucking”…i have no idea what GracePoint is like. but i like the fact that they’re doing something.

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  • John
    March 28, 2007

    I am a person who thinks church sucks, but I keep going. I was driving in Wichita last week and saw the sign. I was skeptical, but it did prompt me to check out their website, listen to an online sermon, and I now would consider going to the church if I lived there. So good job Gracepoint

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  • andrew walker
    April 9, 2007

    churches do suck all your money and you get nothing back you are paying for a lie the is no after life frustrate

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  • Andrea
    November 12, 2007

    I know I am WAY past when this conversation was taking place, but I feel I should respond.
    When I saw the billboard it was amusing to me. I didn’t take the billboard to mean that other churches sucked, what I took it to mean was, Church doesn’t suck in general and this church was reaching out to people who don’t like church.
    Their marketing worked. They not only had the billboard and publicity in the paper, but they also had marketing materials they passed out to their members to give to others. Everywhere I went I saw something about this church.
    I am now a member.

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  • Chances are this is not going to help much. The first thing I would think if I believed church sucked would be “Yeah right”.

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  • Raymond James
    September 24, 2010

    Dear Grace Point,

    Church may not suck – but you website does! Seriously? If you are going to go on a limb with the “we don’t suck concept” them make sure you don’t suck. Pay some bucks and have your site redesigned.

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