07 June 2006

For those who still don't get it. . .

by Phil Johnson

A blog that was in my private blogroll long before I entered the blogosphere is the rather inelegantly-named "Church Marketing Sucks." It has a crisp look with better-than-average graphics. What first intrigued me was the name (although I don't like the lowbrow sound of it and certainly don't agree with
the half-baked rationale their chief blogger uses to justify using a word his mom doesn't approve of:
"We're being authentic. We're being real. We're doing the same thing we're asking the church to do when it comes to communicating and marketing who they are." Yikes.)

Anyway, the name of the blog caught my attention because when I first heard it I assumed the site was going to be against the whole concept of market-driven methodologies for church growth. Unfortunately, on my first visit to the site, I could see that's not the case.

Turns out they just don't think most church marketing these days is "authentic" enough. (A defect which, by their way of thinking, could presumably be solved by putting some words our moms might find offensive on the church marquee.)

So the clever lowbrow blogname turns out to be an empty promise. In fact, the driving assumptions behind the "Church Marketing Sucks" website actually begin with the premise that Christianity is first and foremost a commodity to be peddled. They think the central challenge of evangelism is basically a packaging problem. They think in terms of pimping the gospel rather than preaching it.

So Tuesday they made this post, Is Church Growth the Highway to Hell?—"the first in a multi-part series on the supposed evils of church growth"—which reveals an unbelievably clueless perspective on why some of us are wary of the contemporary market-driven approaches to manufactured church growth. It's an inexcusable cluelessness, given the fact that "marketing the church" is the whole focus of their blog.

"The bottomline is that churches are supposed to grow," they intone. As if someone might seriously argue otherwise. Then they speculate that perhaps the real difficulty we critics see is a potentially unhealthy fixation with "numbers."

Most of their commenters didn't get it, either. Several picked up on the theme of "numbers" and discussed the pros and cons of counting heads and dollars.

Nowhere in the post or comments did anyone even touch on the real problem most critics of the church growth movement have been talking about for years.

For the record, virtually no one is opposed to "church growth." (Certainly no one whose opinion matters.) No one I've ever spoken to is seriously opposed to judiciously watching "numbers," either. After all, God commanded Moses to take a census in Numbers 1:1-3. (At the same time, it's definitely worth considering carefully what made David's action sinful in 1 Chronicles 21:1.)

But what most critics of contemporary church growth theory actually deplore is the pragmatism that drives most popular church-growth methodology.

I guess when your whole framework for judging the "success" or "failure" of every method, every man of God, and every ministry is completely market-driven rather than biblical, the idea that unbridled pragmatism might be a Bad Thing would never even occur to you.

Even though some of us have been saying so for many years.

See my pastor's superb book on the subject, Ashamed of the Gospel.

Phil's signature

45 comments:

Doug E. said...

Great insight,

Doug

Steve said...

Christ did not say, "On church growth techniques I will build my church." Nor did He say, "Go therefore and get church growth degrees and make yourself appealing to those of all nations, attracting them by the means of platitudes, aesthetics, and perks that make them feel good."

As if we need to help God along...

Chelle Y. said...

Phil,

Great article!

Unfortunately, this is a classic case of hearing, they don't hear and seeing, they don't see.

I have a brother-in-law who is a remarkable church marketer. I watched as his tiny church project grew from 3 to over 500 in just a few short years.

While I'm not strictly against church growth, I am against the focus on the subject. I'm against it, not as an after effect, but as the goal.

Sadly, my BIL hasn't a clue. He's now gone off to do the same thing for a church he grew up in as a small boy. Everyone wants him for this particular talent. And I believe it is talent. But in his life it's an intoxicating deception, which keeps him from pursuing and teaching truth.

We've had many a conversation on the subject. Each time, it ends the same way with his head bobbing up and down and with him saying "that's absolutely right". He's a good guy, who wants to serve God. But he seems to always fall back on the marketing, as a first ploy rather than turn to study and to doctrine.

I wish folks would consider that failthfulness to doctrine and to prayer may have a pleasant affect on growth too.

-Mike

Mike Y said...

Oops, that last comment was actually from me. We're on vacation and my wife was logged in on my computer.

Sorry for that.

donsands said...

Seems to me this could be the greatest subtle threat to the gospel in our day.
Pragmatism is so subtle. Once again the shepherds of God's flock need to rightly divide the Word. For the Bible teaches us theology, and it is also practical.

Very important thoughts. Thanks for sharing them.

jason said...

I remember being in a class for my undergrad degree where we were supposed to read "Purpose Driven Church" and discuss it in class. When I tried to explain that I didn't agree with Warren's foundational premise that succesful churches were big churches everyone looked at me like I was speaking French.

Fast forward to a brief stint in a Baptist seminary. One of the first words out of the professors mouth in a class on church growth... "in terms of church growth strategies, beware the reformed position". He says this after requiring us to read 2 Thom Rainer books (formerly a prof at Southern Sem... a reformed school). Inconcievable.

So here's my question; how do we seperate the doctrines of grace from the stigma that they've recieved lately; namely that those who would trust in the sovereignty of God in salvation don't feel the need to evangelize? How do we get someone to understand that TULIP and church growth are not mutually exclusive concepts? What needs to happen for us to reclaim the biblical center of God's sovereignty over salvation and yet also maintain the biblical mandate to evangelize?

James Spurgeon said...

BAM!

(I just felt like that needed to be said right about now)

CalvDispy said...

Phil,
"Pimping" versus "preaching"? Wow! - your command of clever language could be a real marketing boon.

ThirstyDavid said...

Evidently, Church Marketing ####s doesn't allow words your mother wouldn't approve of in their comments. I thought this was funny.

Mike Y said...

Jason,

I've heard the same kind of criticism from my family and friends. They don't dare criticize me for not being evangelistic. I've been teh street preacher in the family over the years. And while God has tempered me considerably, I still preach wherever I go. I got some good evangelism in on my 20 mile bike ride this morning with a friend, though I actually do regard him as a brother.

The point is, evangelism is more than door-to-door. And it's more than just some promotional, followed by 3 points and a poem on Sunday morning.

I have known this in my heart for years, though I basically resigned myself to the notion that such a church, which would act according to scripture, was foreign in this age. I actually had a meeting with several families on New Years Eve to discuss the possibility of covenanting together to form a new church in home town, which would be both Calvinistic and Evangelistic.

Then I visited a church near our house, which I had visited on only one other occasion. It has been our home since January.

I mention to say that the church is experiencing a boom right now. There are folks flooding in from nearby marketing churches that are imploding for one reason after another.

While some of the visitors are leaving quickly, others are staying and finding the doctrine refreshing and life giving.

At the end of the day, it's Christ's church and faithfulness to God's word and to doctrine should be the emphasis, even if the risk is poor growth or even decline.

Now, if one is a poor preacher then he's a poor preacher. Fortunately, I learned how to stay awake during some really boring, but valuable preaching at my last church. It was only boring because the doctrine was very technical. And I majored in Math and Physics. But this was ultra deep. I learned so much during my 3 years there. But there was a hatred towards evangelism, which I couldn't stand any longer.

I'm thankful to God he answered my prayers and delivered us to a God fearing, evangelical church.

-Mike

centuri0n said...

Jason asks a great question regarding how we might "de-stigmatize" the reformed image.

Personally, I don't think we can or that we have to. It says a lot more about the critics who levy the charge that the reformed position is "not popular" and "not attractive" (or wrods to that effect) than it does about the people who hold the views which lead to the greatest reforms and awakenings in the history of the church.

"Missional" simply can't mean "making the Gospel smell nice." It doesn't smell nice to men, but to God it's just fine. Someday even the Southern Baptist Convention will realize that this statement by Paul wasn't about our political positions or our movie-viewing habits but actually about our fidelity to preaching God's word in God's terms in order to save those who God will save.

And the supreme irony of this "image" problem is that it's a phony problem. As I recall, there are no parts of the world in history which were called "burned out districts" because they accepted the reformed faith and experienced a sort of wearing out from questioning their beliefs or their status before God.

Let people call us names. In the end, those labels will do more to impune the critics than to undo the word of Christ in the word of God.

SoccerReformer said...

Very good material Phil.

The only thing I would take issue with, and with Mike's comment above is the word "clueless"

I think they have a very good understanding of what they are doing and why.

I'm reminded of when people decry the mediocre-to-dangerous content in many christian bookstores today, as if it was the store owner's fault.

Stores just put product out they know people will buy - and buy it they do. Surely you've seen some of the stats on religous commerce (I think you've even blogged on it before).

These church marketers are doing the same thing - scratching people where they itch.

How did society get that way? Well, way too big of a subject for here, but the Bible-believing "Remnant" Church has to take some of the blame. It's not that we need to do more "marketing," but to more faithfully, steadfastly and vigorously proclaim the Gospel of Christ, much as was emphasized at the recent T4G conference.

We should be able to approach our own faithful service to the Kingdom, whether as leaders or laymen, with a greater vigor and yieldedness than all of these wordly, man-centered operations demonstrate.

Thanks again Phil for your great service via this blog.

LeeC said...

I always find it interesting that people seem to forget that the great commision is not go forth and;
Evangelize
or
Fill up the pews
or
Maker the unbeliever comfy with you
but MAKE DISCIPLES of all the earth.

Marketing, and drive by evangelism are both so much easier than investing your life into discipling someone, but they both can leave so many people so hungry.

LeeC said...

By the way I want to be clear that I am in no way disparaging evangelization. But doing so to put a notch on your belt or get attendance up is NOT fullfilling the commision.

Don't just get more sheep, feed the sheep.

Matthew LaPine said...

Phil,
Good article. I agree that pragmatism is a serious theological problem. I wonder however, if some apparent pragmatism may not be such. It's easy to look at this site and see pragmatic motivation. Yet, someone might initiate similar methodology not for pragmatic reasons but rather for theological ones. Why do mega-churches attract? They give a sense of community. Why do emerging churches attract? They give a deeper level of connection and intimacy than a regular church. I see a strong theological imperative for the church being a connected body that helps each other to grow (Eph 4). So I might initiate some of the same practices of say either the local mega-church or the local “emerging” church, but for different reasons. They do it, because it works; I might because it builds the church in a Biblical way. Thanks for the article.
Matt

Kim said...

Seems to me that a belief that the gospel is a commodity devalues the real meaning of the gospel.

Using the concept of the corporation as an analogy to the church is risky, I think.

The whole thing about marketing anything is that marketers all know that eventually their product will be usurped by another. That's not the assumption we should make with the gospel.

sendthefire said...

I just wonder what will happen in a mega church if the pastor realizes he has been decieved and fooled by the devil and the so called christian psychology and after a spiritual crises and heart felt repentance experience a genuine feeling of the Holy Ghost?

My predicment will be that the church after 6 months of siftings only a small minority of sheep will he be feeding on the word of God, most of the goats will be gone since they are no longer amused.

Shifting emphasis from methods to character and godliness/holiness and sound biblical teaching will make the dfference.

sendthefire said...

oops sorry for mistyping i ment filling not feeling

Mike Y said...

Soccerreformer,

No problem taking an issue with it. I still stand by it. And I believe you're right that these folks know what they're doing and why. But I don't believe they understand spiritual truth to distinguish between the scriptural church and the pragmatic church. And at the end of the day, a worldly church really isn't very pragmatic.

-Mike

SoccerReformer said...

That part i agree with Mike. I'm not commending them for their "savvy" - but rather refusing to give them the benefit of the doubt re pure motives.

Mike Y said...

Ahh, I'm with you all the way on that.

Kevin D. Hendricks said...

Zing! Wow.

Well, thanks for checking out what we had to say and offering your perspective.

We've certainly said that we don't know everything on the subject and have invited people to comment or submit guest entries. So talk to us. What's your take on pragmatism? I'd agree with you that a church shouldn't do anything under the sun, no matter the cost, to increase numbers or grow.

But doesn't some pragmatism, provided it's biblical, make sense? Certainly let's not look only at the results--but don't they matter? Jesus talked a lot about bearing fruit. Isn't that looking just at results?

Just my two cents on one small aspect of everything you said. Thanks.

Chuck said...

Sendthefire:

That has actually happened before. In the 1990's, a pastor in Muscle Shoals, AL came to believe in the Doctrines of Grace. He was a successful marketer with a large and growing church. People expected him to be the next big thing.
Instead, he called all the SBC pastors in the area to a meeting at his church, publicly repented, and called everyone there to do the same. He lost half his church and is now considered fringe.
Of course, since then the church has grown Biblically and is now a vibrant, healthy proof both that marketing is not necessary and that Calvinism doesn't kill evangelism.
Oh yeah- Voddie Baucham is an elder at that church too.

SolaMeanie said...

I think what I find the most bothersome is that so many churches pushing the "church growth" ideas seem to forget Who it is who adds to the church. Yes, we are to be faithful in evangelizing, but it is the Holy Spirit who draws people to Himself. Our clever little marketing techniques might well succeed in drawing people for a while, especially if the church has a hot band and light show (it also helps if the preacher can twirl his mike like Roger Daltrey), but these things won't save anyone. If the Spirit isn't drawing, they're not coming.

While I am at it, the way we have "professionalized" church ministry hasn't helped. The way I read Scripture, the assembly is for believers to be grounded in the Word and equipped for ministry, in addition to worship. It is NOT primarily for reaching unbelievers. The reaching of unbelievers is to be done by all of us in our everyday lives. Instead, we have the mindset that we pay the church staff and pastors' salaries so THEY can do the work of the ministry. It isn't supposed to be this way.

I am slowly beginning to think we'd all be better off if some of these massive Taj Mahals we've built would go belly up. The millions of dollars that go into maintaining them could be better spent, and who knows...people just might be more motivated to talk to their neighbors about Christ.

I don't intend to imply that no valid ministry can happen in a huge church. It can and does. However, they are easily drawn into the "numbers means we're valid" game. I'd rather worship in a small group with 10 people who are devoted to the Word of God rather than a megachurch of 10,000 where one hears more about self-help than they do holy living.

Sharon said...

As my pastor so succinctly put it . . . "Christ said HE would build His church, and I don't want to compete with Him!"

Phil Johnson said...

Kevin D. Hendricks: "Jesus talked a lot about bearing fruit. Isn't that looking just at results? "

Are you being serious? Or was that a deliberate set-up line?

See 1 Cor. 3:6-7.

...and once you see the main point Paul was making there, ask yourself what he was using the imagery of planting and watering to signify.

Hint: marketing strategy (regardless of how "authentic") was the furthest thing from his mind.

BTW, real "fruit" isn't manufactured. Except for the wax kind, which, you know, doesn't produce real living organisms.

philness said...

The way I see it the mega-churches are like daycare facilities spiritually speaking. They are merely stepping stones leading (for most) back into the world or for others, on to elementary school for Arminian processing.

Kevin D. Hendricks said...

Phil Johnson said: "Are you being serious? Or was that a deliberate set-up line?"

Set-up line? I'm trying to dialogue with you, not set you up.

The passage you point to (1 Cor. 3:6-7) is great. Paul did some work (planting). Apolos did some work (watering). God made it happen (increase). So what are you getting at (maybe it's getting late for me)? Paul may not have seen direct results for his work, but the fruit was still there. Growth still happened. That's the kind of fruit Jesus was talking about.

And of course real fruit can't be manufactured. Who said that it was? The greatest preacher in the world can't manufacture conversions--only God is going to do that. But the preacher still had to preach. Paul still had to do the watering.

That's how I see marketing--it's just thinking about how we communicate. It's something that happens no matter what, it's just a matter of it being good communication or bad communication, good marketing or bad marketing.

It's just like speaking skills. A preacher can say they don't matter and that God will speak through him no matter what, and though God may still speak through him, it can still be bad public speaking. But what's wrong with a preacher learning good public speaking skills and putting them to work in order that nothing will distract from the message? In my humble opinion, that's the point of marketing.

Phil Johnson said...

Kevin: "what's wrong with a preacher learning good public speaking skills and putting them to work in order that nothing will distract from the message? In my humble opinion, that's the point of marketing."

See, Kevin, the problem is that I read your website, and we both know very well that a whole lot of the stuff you are promoting is nothing whatsoever like "a preacher learning good public speaking skills and putting them to work in order that nothing will distract from the message."

On the contrary, the varieties of "marketing" you have promoted include everything from "Ditching Sermons for Drama" to "outreach efforts involving strong drink—not to mention deliberately tittilating ad campaigns, lingerie parties, and porn weekends.

Furthermore, in your view, marketing is the church's mission. I have yet to see a single article on your site dealing with the actual content of the gospel message or how to make it clearer. So don't kid yourself with the argument that all you're really doing is just like someone learning how to preach better.

Like I said, you're not really talking about preaching the gospel at all; you're exploring methods for pimping religion.

Jim from OldTruth.com said...

Those links are disgusting.

Good detective work Phil.

philness said...

BAM!!!... SMACK!!!... POW!!!... BOOM!!!..THUD!!!!

Meanwhile, back at Gotham, I mean Pyro, after Kevin got told....lol

Oh, I slay myself....
Thud...LOL...LOL..

Great work Phil! You are my hero.

Rob said...

I wonder if they would say you don't get it?

Phil Johnson said...

Rob, I have said I don't get it. The market-driven mentality makes no sense biblically, logically, or even (in the long run) pragmatically.

I've pointed out why it violates every principle of Scripture, every lesson from church history, and every canon of common sense. That's been one of the central themes of my blog for the past year.

If your best answer is, "Well, that's your perspective. We just see things differently,"—with no actual argument from Scripture and no coherent rationale other than your postmodern perspective that everyone is entitled to invent his own reality—then you're perfectly welcome to jump off that cliff.

I'm not going to follow you into the abyss.

Incidentally, if you or Kevin really want "dialogue" about this, you're eventually going to have to make a coherent argument somewhere. The "Sez you!" response doesn't really qualify as an answer on this blog.

4given said...

I am so slow... but I just noticed that everytime I click onto the Pyro site there is a new Pyro heading. Clever.

(It must be the blonde hair... or could it be that I homeschool six kids, and like to go barefoot, living in Arkansas)

Kevin D. Hendricks said...

From the links you pointed to it's pretty obvious our disagreements go far and deep. If you've got a problem with someone having a beer or think bare feet and the mention of sex constitute a titilating ad, well we're not exactly going to see eye to eye.

And you know, I have to wonder what's the point in even trying when it's pretty clear you're not interested in dialoging. You're not interested in helping someone understand what you think, you'd rather just insult them. As long as you're right, I guess how you do it doesn't really matter.

Thanks, but I've got better things to do.

Phil Johnson said...

Kevin,

I'm not sure what you took as merely "insulting." I showed you concrete examples of marketing gimmicks you promote that belie your original claim that all you're doing is "learning good . . . skills and putting them to work in order that nothing will distract from the message" On the contrary, your gimmicks do distract from the message. Seriously.

Moreover, I never said I had a problem "with someone having a beer" or with bare feet. (See how you consistently evade the real point?) What I have a problem with is "church marketing" that replaces the church's only legitimate message with such vanity and worldliness.

Again: where is the gospel in any of the gimmicks you promote?

If your notion of "dialoguing" requires me to be less than honest about my assessment of how seriously wrong your approach to marketing is, then it's not really "dialogue" you're looking for anyway, is it?

But there really is a serious point to my criticism, and you didn't answer it. Once more: If you are truly trying to do what you claimed you are doing in your first comment here, why is there not a single article on your blog dealing with the actual content of the gospel message and how to make it clearer?

Before you get mad and run off, I hope that point sinks in a little bit. Good writing, slick design, and "cutting-edge" innovation doesn't make your stuff good or valid. That's the false promise of so much stress on "marketing."

And since your current series of posts seems to suggest this criticism has somehow escaped you, I think it's time someone got really blunt about it.

But I assure you, it's not meant to stifle real, honest dialogue—or merely to insult.

Kevin D. Hendricks said...

It's so funny that you can write the way you do and not see how insulting you're being. All the comments of "Bam" and "Smack, Pow, Thud" seem to notice the same thing I do.

Why is there not a single article talking about the content of the Gospel on Church Marketing Sucks? We've never thought it necessary. Most churches know what their message is. That's not the problem (and if it is a problem, there are loads of better organizations to help with that problem). The problem is that churches aren't very good at communicating that message. That's our purpose. Try to figure out how to communicate it better. Try to figure out how to connect with people better.

If that means having small group that meets in a bar and talks about the Bible over a pint, great. If it means doing a series that honestly explores what the Bible says about sex, great. If it means having a porn weekend to draw attention to the problem of pornography, let's do it.

Obviously all of these ideas have to fit with the message, or it's a waste. But that's what we're about.

Maybe we should talk more about ways to clearly explain the details of the Gospel, and that's a good idea. But we look around and see churches full of typos or churches full of shiny marketing that misses out on the truth and we groan. That's what we've been trying to address.

donsands said...

The best way to communicate the gospel during an assembly of believers is Acts 2:42. And then the Lord will add to the church daily, those who are being saved.

Coming together on Sunday is a time of worship, not evangelism. If the Lord happens to save some during the service, that is wonderful.
I see the prupose of Sunday church services as worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Father, in Spirit and truth.
Evangelism takes place through that same body of believers in many, many ways, but always the gospel of grace.
I hope you don't mind my two cents worth. And I hope this fits.

Phil Johnson said...

Kevin,

1. I think the "Bam, Smack, Pow, and Thuds" were references to how decisively the links I posted refuted your claim that "that nothing will distract from the message."

2. For the record, I'm not usually a big fan of onomatopoetic comments, and I did nothing to encourage them here. But like you, I couldn't help noticing how many commenters in this particuar thread instinctively responded with similar detonations. That surely means something.

3. If I'm right about the meaning of all those noises, you really ought to think again about the point I'm making.

4. If you're right and the walloping noises signified that the commenters who left them thought that I was merely "insulting" you, let them say so, and I will apologize. I promise.

5. This statement from you: "Most churches know what their message is. That's not the problem" epitomizes why I think your whole approach is 180 degrees wrong. I could hardly disagree with you more strongly.

6. Though I might also disagree with a lot of what Marshall McLuhan said, he made several good points, and his most famous aphorism distilled an important idea I think you would do well to consider very seriously.

7. People aren't likely to be condemned at the judgment seat for "typos" or for ham-handed artwork on their church bulletins. Selah.

philness said...

Kevin,

Perhaps I should apologize for the "onomatopoetic" comment. (NOUN: The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to. onomatopoeic, onomatopoetic (-p-tk) , onomatopoeically, onomatopoetically)
I have always wanted to be a sound engineer but the Lord had different plans. It was Friday, I had a light day and I suppose I needed to echo with the rest of the comments. But I mean no personal disrespect, its just that folks around here and myself are real sensitive to the ways of the world merging with the church. There really should be a distinct demarcation between the world and church and most definitely no signs of the world in the church less one becomes guilty of spiritual adultery. Although Marshall McLuhan did say the medium is the message, someone also said that perception is everything. And just so that you will know, the word "emerging" or the likes thereof make discernment alarms go off very loudly and this blog is an excellent place to hear and troubleshoot those alarms.

Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God

FreedfromBondage said...

Get ready this might be the best comment post you ever got! By the way, what is pragmatism? I am currently seeking [without regard to my own sensitivities] a new church, and as my searches continue, I came across a church in this area which hosted one of those "porn sundays" previously spoken of. I actually found the advertisement for the upcoming "festivities" in our city newspaper. My heart sank at the promotion for the "xxx church", and I wondered as to why a very large SBC would blot our precious Savior's name, in such a publicly humiliating manner. I have no idea how "ministers" of this so called church, can be involved with a perverse device, and still remain "unspotted from the world".
Perhaps this issue of pragmatism, is more than that... perhaps the "Church Marketing ____" website is little more than the grand detail of those who speak Christ, yet have never known Him. For when men like Mr. Hendricks are confronted with the true Spiritual Gospel, they have only circular reasoning and a single question...'What's so wrong with that?'
Keep that question handy, Mr. Hendricks, our righteous judge will soon give you your answer.

RodeoClown said...

FreedfromBondage - are you actually aware of what xxxChurch is?

They are anti-porn, very much so. Providing accountability software for people who struggle with internet pornography.

They witness to workers in the porn industry, giving them bibles and the like.

While I think the way they market themselves is probably not the best, it gets people in that industry to stop and listen, and then those people may hear the gospel.

They are very much NOT the pornographers you make them out to be.

FreedfromBondage said...

OK, Mr. Clown.

Yes, I am fully aware of what the xxx church is. When I make the statement, "I have no idea how "ministers" of this so called church, can be involved with a perverse device, and still remain 'unspotted from the world'." [Quoting myself...how's that for blog pragmatics?] I possessed no intent to identify them as pornographers. My wife and I took time to do proper research. RC, do you know that they have booths at 'porn conventions'? [...why not meet the porn people outside of the convention center?] Do you know that the 'attention getter' for their ministry is a 20 foot tall inflatable male organ? [...why not have a 20 foot tall inflatable cross?] Are you aware that this 'church' will not allow attendants under the age of 18 into their services? [I don't ever recall this restriction being recorded in Scripture...Did Paul give the Gospel in Rated XXX terms?] Just like the thousands of unknown conversions from 'successful' church marketing, I'd have to say I don't remember hearing about the hundreds of 'porn stars' being converted to salvation in Christ, after such a fantastically blessed convention. But I'll keep an ear out, brother! Peace!

RodeoClown said...

RC, do you know that they have booths at 'porn conventions'? [...why not meet the porn people outside of the convention center?]

Yes, I did know that. I guess they meet people inside because that's where the people are, not outside.
It is one of the things I would probably do differently though.


Do you know that the 'attention getter' for their ministry is a 20 foot tall inflatable male organ? [...why not have a 20 foot tall inflatable cross?]
Nope, I had no idea. Just been looking over their site and can't see anything about it.

Are you aware that this 'church' will not allow attendants under the age of 18 into their services? [I don't ever recall this restriction being recorded in Scripture...Did Paul give the Gospel in Rated XXX terms?]
I imagine they keep under 18s out because they are talking about stuff that isn't appropriate for kids.

Just like the thousands of unknown conversions from 'successful' church marketing, I'd have to say I don't remember hearing about the hundreds of 'porn stars' being converted to salvation in Christ, after such a fantastically blessed convention. But I'll keep an ear out, brother!
I've heard of at least one converted porn star (directly through their ministry anyway). I think for that one lady it is worth doing what they do.

Peace!
Right back at you.

I'm not going to defend everything those guys do - I don't approve of some of it myself, BUT - I think they are telling people who would normally never hear it about Christ. And I think that is important.

It's not a ministry I would ever want to be involved in, but someone needs to do it. Have you heard of the monk Vitalis? If not, I'd suggest going an investigating him.

He has a fantastic story.

God Bless.

FreedfromBondage said...

Rodeo?!? hmmmm...

*Yawn* z-z-z-z......