By Craig Gross
Published March 29, 2019
When we started XXXchurch.com, we bought a few other names like “Porn Industries” and 10 to 12 other potential names that we could use to create a “non-Christian” version of XXXchurch.com, eventually.
Why? Not everyone likes Christians.
This is a general statement. Some of you Christians are loved and respected, but we live in a world where a lot of people I know who own a company, run a nonprofit or have a publishing company wants to shy away from being labeled a Christian. We ended up not using those domain names because we somehow figured out a way to bring Jesus into our company without isolating those who don’t believe.
Three Reasons Why Nobody Wants a “Christian” Label
1. That means you suck or your product sucks. If you are a Christian company or have a Christian product then traditionally that means you are not as good as the rest.
2. Safe. Christians are safe. We put our kids in Christian schools to protect them. I know this because my parents did this to me my whole life. I want to teach my kids not to play it safe. I don’t want my kids living in a world centered around fear, and when you are labeled a Christian, it often means safe even though that was the opposite of how Jesus lived his life.
3. Inclusive. Us vs. them. I want to reach everyone, not just the church or Christians. When you are labeled a Christian company, immediately a bunch of people stop listening to you because often you forget to talk to that group and you focus on your own. The Bible says GO into all the world. I don’t know how we screwed this one up so badly, but most churches and Christians are most known for being inclusive and not being on the edge. Head out of your bubble.
I love Jesus, but I don’t want to reach people who do. The more companies, brands, and organizations that can reach people outside our group, the better. I thought what Brandon Ebel said on the Bad Christian podcast was pretty great about his take on signing a Christian band. He said, “If the lead singer was a Christian, that is all that I needed to sign a band to my label.”
I have hired non-Christians on our team, and we currently employ people who aren’t Christians. I don’t know a lot of Christian companies who do this. Once again, part of being inclusive.
So, stop asking if the company or brand you follow or band you love is a Christian. I understand why a lot of people don’t want the label and want to distance themselves from a label, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love Jesus. If your favorite band has one Christian in it or your favorite clothing company has a CEO that is a Christian in it, that is something beautiful to me. That is light penetrating darkness. I am more excited about those groups then the groups that are 100 percent Christians because then those groups end up talking to their own.
Can you have a Christian company that doesn’t suck, play it safe, and isn’t inclusive?
Yes, and I hope we start to see more and more of these groups. I was at the LA Forum a few years ago for the Hillsong United concert with my family. I have been to Hillsong NYC and Hillsong Los Angeles and can honestly say that this is a strong Christian group (church, record label, a movie) that can compete on any level with their music. They don’t play it safe on how they do things and their message every Sunday is “Welcome Home,” saying you don’t have to believe to belong.
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I have seen Lecrae in concert and that guy is inspiring. Touring with the best of hip-hop. Not playing it safe and not just trying to reach his own.
These two are examples of Christian groups that are mixing things up and inspiring.
But for the rest of you…stop sucking, stop playing it safe, and stop being so inclusive.