When advertising Hall of Fame legend Bill Backer died this week, the news may have been easy to miss. I mean, after all, who among us recognizes his name? Bill Backer...hmmm....nope. Doesn't ring a bell. But consider the phrases he implanted into our brain:
"Soup is good food." - Campbell
"Here's to good friends, tonight is kind of special." Lowenbrau
"Tastes great. Less filling." - Miller Lite
And if those phrases don't resonate, Bill Backer was responsible for putting Dave Thomas into Wendy's commercials. The guy was a legend; just in obscurity.
What Bill Backer did for these companies, we're called to do for Christ; even as fitness-minded believers. Amid everything we set out to accomplish in the gym, it all comes down to this: Glorify God. Whether we're trying to lose weight, gain muscle, achieve flexibility, reduce blood pressure, or all of the above, the end result is to make Jesus famous. The final product isn't our reputation, or our "likes" on social media or our status. It's God's renown. Fact is, whether or not any of those goals are achieved (if they do, consider them gifts of obedience and progenies of prudence) our job is like that of Bill Backer: promote the prize, get out of the way, deflect attention.
Oh, to be Christ-marketers like that, amen? The moment we walk into the gym or step onto the mat or hit the road, the ad goes live, and we're on the air to promote Him. In fact, I like to think that Bill Backer set the tone for us when he wrote, "I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony." Me too, Bill. Me too.
- jimmy peña