I love Waffle House. This morning, I sat at the counter and enjoyed scrambled eggs and coffee. As I was eating and listening to interesting conversations around me, I glanced up and noticed a sign that said, “T-Bone Steaks: World’s Leading Server.”
No doubt, someone in Waffle House’s marketing department stumbled upon this little-known fact and decided to broadcast it to the masses. I’m convinced the idea is genius. Why? Because the sign plainly states a fact with the fewest words possible. Yet, at the same time, it infers something that’s not necessarily true. The ordinary reader is led to believe that Waffle House has the best T-bone steak in the world.
I tested the theory by quizzing my waitress. “Ma’am, would you recommend the T-Bone?”
The lady laughed a little and said, “stick with your eggs.”
I followed up by pointing to the sign and asking, “Does it at least look like the picture?”
She responded with more laughter and then shared my question with the other employees as they all shared a laugh.
As I finished my eggs, I thought of all the other businesses who use the same marketing spin:
- The nation’s leading supplier of ________.
- The largest dealership in the state.
- #1 selling brand of ________.
In all of these instances, we are led to believe that quantity equals quality. Tell that to the poor guy still trying to chew the T-bone at Waffle House!
In the church world, we hear plenty of the same spin, don’t we?
- Best-selling author _______.
- Fastest growing church in ________.
- World renown evangelist _______.
While it is possible that a church is growing rapidly or a book is selling like wildfire for all the right reasons, marketable success is no guarantee for godliness.
Don’t forget Paul’s warning in I Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
Be careful in the christian books you trust, the church you join, and the teaching you accept. Satan rarely issues his lies bluntly, but rather spins them with truth -sometimes sweetening them like syrup on a…. well, you know….