“Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” John 1:46
In 2015, Kmart brought back their once signature marketing tool, the blue-light special. Alasdair James, the president of Kmart at the time, promoted the move as a returning to the DNA of the store’s culture. He said, “We think there is a real positive buzz coming out of it and we expect to see an increase in sales.”
The move was less than successful. In 2017, Kmart closed 140 stores. After a dreadful holiday sales performance, the company announced plans to close an additional 104 stores. In the end, the blue-light special only benefited realtors looking for deals on commercial property. I wonder if Alasdair James did his homework before making this announcement?
Kmart created the blue light special to move stagnate merchandise off the shelves. At random times, a blue-light flashed, and a voice announced, “Attention, Kmart shoppers…” It was an invitation to come and see a great deal. People who succumbed to the gimmick quickly learned the truth. The merchandise wasn’t moving off the shelves because it was useless junk. Blue-light specials became synonymous with crap.
Today, we are inundated with advertisements seeking our attention. They flood our emails, cellphones, and computer screens. All of these are enticements to come and see the benefits of some product. Some do capture my attention because they speak to a need in my life. However, I’ve been burned enough by gimmicks to ask, can anything good come of this?
To be honest, I’m even more skeptical of religious invitations. Once, an invitation to join a prayer service turned out to be an attempt to cast out a demon. Another time, a speech was actually a campaign rally for a candidate I did not support or like. In each situation, the people wanted an invisible God to restore something they lost. Leaders said things like, “God, show people your power by…” And, “Bring God back to this culture so…”
The most profound spiritual moments in my life began with an invitation to come and see something within myself. This kind of invitation is scary to many people. They’re afraid they may not like what they find. However, the leaders of those events understood, God does not come and visit us when conditions are right. God is always present. The invitation was not to search for who God is to us, but who we are in God. It opens the eyes to see something more precious than the one seeking ever dreamed of finding.
Click to read: John 1: 43-51
- What do you find to be a poor marketing approach? And, why?
- When has an invitation turned out to be “false advertising?”
- Have you ever questioned whether anything good could from a person or a place?
- What is the difference between seeing who God is to us and who we are in God?