Response 1: Phil Davis
Well, my first response in reading this question is “yes!” But I immediately thought of two other questions: What is it we should market? And what do you mean by marketing?
Let me answer the last question first. Marketing is widely associated with advertising, infomercials, and media coverage based on statistical studies and analysis. The word has become equated with “in your face” manipulation and pushiness. But marketing can also mean making a product widely available to the public.
Our church headquarters has an important role in communications to the public. And so do our local churches. And yet, I have found that it is what we individually do between Sunday and Wednesday services that is the best tool for public awareness of Christian Science. “Elevating the race” and “rousing the dormant understanding” (Science and Health, p. 583) has to be more than just two, one-hour services. I’m not talking about being pushy or trying to convert others. I’m talking about caring and loving enough to offer ourselves to those in need and meeting them where they are.
And that brings me to the first question: What should we market? For me the top product we have is healing. Yes, sharing our own healing experiences is important, but also publicly healing. This isn’t about being a practitioner of Christian Science, as much as it is being a Christian Scientist who heals publicly. Mary Baker Eddy set the bar. Even in latter years, she was still healing whether it was a construction worker coming to her home or those she encountered on her daily carriage rides. Those who met her or just saw her, were always touched, blessed, and/or healed. Shouldn’t the same be said of us?
In recent years, I’ve really prayed to love and be alert to my neighbor’s needs wherever I am. And opportunities to help, pray, and heal others have come as a result. These were not formal meetings but just conversing with a server at a restaurant who is having health problems, or the guy paving my driveway who just lost a brother. If we each had the kind of healing record Eddy had in her public encounters, I can’t imagine a better, more effective way to “market” Christian Science to the world.
Response 2: Jenny Lobl
The Mother Church is a unique organization that is structured so that each individual, through prayer, helps determine the collective progress. Members might hold different views on the question of marketing the message, but all would agree that the starting point is prayer.
If we are striving to share Christian Science with others, a place to start in prayer is the acknowledgement of each individual’s present and eternal oneness with divine Mind, knowing that Mind is communicating to each of its children whatever they need to know in order to progress spiritually. We can know that neither ignorance, fear, nor sensuality can obscure the Science of being. We can pray that God’s word “enrich the affections of all mankind” (see p. 41 in the Manual of The Mother Church).
Mary Baker Eddy was following divine direction when she wrote the Manual so we trust that the church structure it lays out is the one that best supports Christly efforts to introduce Christian Science to the "millions of unprejudiced minds" referred to in Science and Health (see p. 570).
The Manual specifies various avenues for sharing Christian Science, for example Reading Rooms and lectures, and we can prayerfully support the offices that oversee those activities. And if ideas come to us through prayer, we can share them! Christian Scientists all over the world have and will continue to come up with great ideas for ways our movement can progress, and those ideas can be implemented locally and/or shared directly with the relevant personnel employed by The Mother Church.
In speaking of the allness of Mind and the harmony of its creation, Mrs. Eddy wrote, “The straight and narrow way is to see and acknowledge this fact, yield to this power, and follow the leadings of truth” (Science and Health, p. 151). Whenever there’s a need to consider what, if any, human steps to take in any given situation, it’s important to know that in order to recognize and follow divine guidance we need to first see and acknowledge spiritual reality and yield to this in thought. The more we do this, the more effectively we’ll be honoring our “duty to mankind” (see Manual of The Mother Church p. 42) and sharing the healing message of Christian Science—both in our daily contacts with others and in our efforts to support activities carried out by The Mother Church.