Last Saturday, the Daystar Christian Centre distributed some back-to-school materials for the new academic session. The beneficiaries were mainly children from financially challenged background. The massive rush for this gesture of kindness shows how much it provided a huge relief to struggling parents.

At the physical level, this is all VERY GOOD and HIGHLY COMMENDABLE. Kudos to Daystar Christian Centre.

But when we transcend the level of physical consideration, many people that evaluate this gesture from a purely spiritual perspective will be appalled at some carnal undertones that seriously mar the church’s gesture.

The very visible BRANDING on the items that were given out to these indigent children makes a COMPLETE MOCKERY of the injunction of Christ that our giving to the poor should be done with GREAT DISCRETION! Please study Matthew 6:2-4 carefully.

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, SO THAT YOUR GIVING MAY BE IN SECRET. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

From Jesus’ perspective, our giving should NOT attract the glory of men! But, in this case, for as long as these little children (over 20,000 beneficiaries) use these materials, EVERYBODY will see and remember the HUGE LOGO of Daystar church emblazoned on the school bags, exercise books, etc.
These children have not only become recipients of the generosity of Daystar, they have also unwittingly become the church’s MARKETING MEDIUM! As the children trudge to school in the morning, and as they return home in the afternoon, they will be ADVERTISING THE LOGO of Daystar all over Lagos State. Hundreds of thousands of people will see them – EVERY SINGLE, SCHOOL DAY! That’s probably tens of millions of ‘exposure’ every academic year. That’s A HUGE MARKETING MILEAGE!!!

Those who are in the profession of Advertising and/or Public Relations may be able to estimate the HUGE corporate benefits that will accrue to Daystar from these little mobile, advertising ‘billboards’. These children are being used for brand awareness, brand recollection, brand retention, brand building, etc. It is all about BRAND and BRANDING! The DAYSTAR brand!

And please recall that this logo has nothing to do with Jesus Christ per se. It is all about the DAYSTAR BRAND of Christianity. Those that know Jesus Christ, know very well that Jesus has no logo, and He is not into branding – for the Gospel is NOT a commercial venture. The Gospel does not use marketing gimmicks to advance the Kingdom of God.

If this gesture has come from a purely business enterprise, it would have been both understandable and acceptable. It is called Corporate Social Responsibility. And this is entirely within the purview of the operation of a business enterprise. This is the way that companies give back to the society – WHILST ALSO joyfully reaping the publicity and goodwill that will accrue to them from the ‘kind’ gesture. That is how corporate business works.

But this is NOT how the Kingdom of God works! And it is a very sad state of affairs that human logic and carnal methodology are being employed in propagating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even when the practice GOES COMPLETELY AGAINST the teaching of Jesus Christ – when He said His followers should not be like PHARISEES that trumpet their alms-giving before men.

For the reason of expediency, I am not even talking about the publicity that surrounded the gesture. It can be argued by some that this publicity was necessary to generate awareness among the intended beneficiaries. My focus is on the heavy branding. Is it necessary? What is the purpose? Is this really A FREE GIFT after all? Or are these children being used in a pseudo-marketing gimmick that will HUGELY BENEFIT the Daystar corporate brand? In which case, is this a SELFLESS giving? Godly giving is meant to be SELFLESS.

Let’s dig a bit into the root of this branding palaver. In Christ Jesus, the FRAGMENTING of His Body (His Church) into small units that have BRAND IDENTITY is a gross act of CARNALITY (1 Corinthians 3:3-4; 1:11-12). This division is NOT of God. It is part of the adulteration that has crept into the Christian faith. An adulteration that has now led to intense competition and rivalry among these denominations to outdo and outshine one another – biggest camp, biggest university, biggest cathedral, etc.

In this regard, with the trail that Daystar has blazed now (and the brand mileage it is garnering), it won’t be surprising if another DENOMINATIONAL BRAND attempts to outdo Daystar by giving more bags, better bags, or bigger bags – all HEAVILY BRANDED, of course. And our streets will be filled with little children carrying Redeemed bags, Winners bags, Mountain bags, Rock bags, etc. Please visualise this bedlam as our religious idiosyncrasies spread to new frontiers!
Please let us all put a stop to this silliness before it spreads further. Obviously this is NOT about Jesus Christ – He showed more respect for poor people. He would certainly NOT approve of our BRANDING little children in a way that will show them as POOR BENEFICIARIES of our ‘kindness’.

Let the church return to her roots in Jesus Christ. Let’s leave marketing tools to commercial ventures. Unless if the church has also become a commercial enterprise! Or has it?

Thanks for reading, God bless you.


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