It’s always interesting to me when a product changes its packaging without changing the contents… What’s even more interesting to me is when the advertising on the package heralds the new design promising the exact same product… Exibit A – the mac ‘n’ cheese I received in my most recent care package. (Thanks, granny!!!) I noticed that they changed the design of the box.
The face of Kraft macaroni has changed over the years – sometimes catering more to adults, sometimes more to children. There were even boxes in the past that featured a little dinosaur made of cheese that beckoned you to savor the gooey goodness of the pasta elbows and cheese sauce inside. It seems that its appearance has always been changing, but I don’t remember the flavor ever changing.
Even with the new packaging, they said something really important to me on the back of the box.
That’s right – “same gooey, cheesy taste.” The men and women that make my mac ‘n’ cheese stayed true to the original vision, the original recipe, the original taste. That’s important. I really don’t care what the box looks like (as long as there’s nothing amoral about it…) – I want to know what’s on the inside. Did they stay true to the original flavor?
I think all of this could be said of the Gospel as well. Being a missionary really gives you a chance to experience different styles in worship and puts you outside of your comfort-church-zone. Sometimes, you don’t have the option to do things “like we’ve always done them”, and, at other times, you need to work with people that say, “Really? We’ve never done it like you do it!” You know what’s so cool about that? It’s ok! I believe that the Gospel, as long as it stays true to the Bible, the truth of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, salvation by grace through faith alone, etc., etc., we can have almost any kind of style that we like (as long as we aren’t sinning)!
Now, why do manufacturers change their packaging? I believe that it’s often due to a change in focus or the pursuit of catering to a new demographic. I know I’m treading on some stormy waters here, but I believe that we can do this with our churches, too, as long as we don’t leave the core truths of the Gospel!
This can be taken to an extreme. The seeker friendly movement, the emergent movement, etc., etc., were all attempts to change the “same gooey, cheesy taste” into some other thing. When I open the box of Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese, whether it has a dinosaur on it or just a boring “kraft” logo, I’m not looking for pasta salad – I’m looking for mac ‘n’ cheese! We need to stay true to God’s word, we need to stay true to the Truth, to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit… but we can’t let our style get in the way of what God is doing or reaching others.