If you live in Corpus Christi, then I'm sure you've already received your new mail-out from Bay Area Fellowship. If you live somewhere else- here's the deal:
We have a HUGE church here in town that is very modern and cool. They have like a million service times and have their own band and have these "series" with cool themes to go along with their message. They send mail-outs to everyone in the area before each new series and make it seem very relevant and exciting.
Havie and I visited the church a few years ago before they moved into their new mega-building and we really didn't like it. To each their own! The message was good, we just didn't feel comfortable. It was too flashy and packed (and no one even said hi to us!). It just wasn't a good fit, but they are obvioulsy reaching tons of people so more power to them has always been my attitude until today...
This latest stunt is too much for me.
Yesterday I kept reading online about some church who was giving away over $1 million worth of prizes on Easter weekend. Cars, flatscreens, laptops and more... I thought that it sounded terrible.
Then I get home to find a mailer in our mailbox and realized the church they were talking about was right here in Corpus Christi! Bay Area Fellowship has outdone themselves this time and I really believe it is indicative of some real issues going on over there.
I just think it's sad. It's the wrong message. Easter Sunday brings out huge numbers anyway, so my opinion is that they are trying to funnel the masses to THEIR church. I don't think this is about Jesus. He is going to be overshadowed by the promise of STUFF. It seems to send the message that Jesus isn't sensational enough on his own. The story has to be pumped up by the promise of possibly winning some cool stuff for your time. Sad.
I pray that some of the people who attend with receive the message of Christ.