Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Awesomeness-Driven Church

It is widely repeated that a Korean pastor once visited the United States and remarked at the end of his stay, "It's amazing what you people can do without the Holy Spirit."

Yesterday I watched a video of a motocross bike jumping over a pastor on stage. Now, I'm not saying that church or its pastor don't have the Holy Spirit, but I am saying that setting up a dirtbike track in your sanctuary is profoundly stupid.

What is profoundly stupid is the sheer amount of innovation, creativity, energy, ambition, and astounding levels of human wherewithal that go into crafting the most amazing worship experiences Americans have ever seen inside churches where the gospel isn't preached. I can say this because there's only one thing we hold that the New Testament calls "power," and that's the gospel.

In Ezekiel 37 we find that well-known prophetic vision of the valley of dry bones. I find verse 8 curious:
And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.

Looks alive. Still: it isn't.

Is this what we've crafted with many of our ecclesiastic enterprises? Have we only set loose an army of shiny, platitude-dispensing golems?

Is this also true of even churches with "sound doctrine," where human ingenuity and personality and tradition reign?

What's the prescription for the awesomeness-driven church?
Ezekiel 37:9-10:
Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live." So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
The prescription is life-giving proclamation that pleads for the Holy Spirit and his reviving wind. And the result is a church alive, fired with gospel militancy and mobilized for kingdom mission.

Holy Spirit, come.

41 comments:

Biggdawgg said...

My family attended the Motocross church for about two months. I have to agree with your summation. When we had the Christmas program with "divers" swimming from wires across the ceiling, I had to get up and leave. Haven't been back since. Lotta wonderful folks there, though.

Jared said...

No doubt.

My 2nd ministry position was under the motocross pastor's brother-in-law. He was a great guy who was a real hero for me despite pastoral abuse from others. Great family, all of them.

RYANCOOK said...

Having been part of an "Awesomeness" church for many years, this resonates with me. Watching the authentic efforts and energy that went into creating these environments was sad. Not because these people do not function with authentic motives, but because they have clearly become confused about the objective of the faith. The bigger the crowd, the more we are convinced we are making a difference. The problem here is that we have put discipleship on the back burner.

We have also turned the sunday worship gathering into a revivalist mentality evangelism gathering. The primary purpose of the gathering is evangelism, not worship. (Please forgive the somewhat false dichotomy.)

After having lived and worked with these kinds of churches for years, I would say we are in desperate need of theological clarity as to the purpose of the church. Their motives are not evil, but they are planted inside a faulty gauge of success.

Brian said...

can I get a link to this motorcross video? I mean, so I can do it in my church? I kid. I kid. But if I am in a frustrated mood, this video link would help bring me more frustration.

Jared said...

Brian, you asked for it:
http://christiannightmares.tumblr.com/post/883483197/motocross-jumper-clears-pastor-in-church

Paul D. Adams said...

Can't help but add a pointer to my record of last Sunday's "worship" experience.

See Open Letter to Pastors and their Churches

ecrosstexas (Eric Wallace) said...

Jared,

I love this line "I can say this because there's only one thing we hold that the New Testament calls "power," and that's the gospel." Thank You.

The church in America needs to wake up to this biblical truth. I wrote about this last week in a post entitled Has your Church Jumped the Shark?. It's got the motorcycle, no pork Osteen, rodeo church and no cross church.

Thanks Jared for your ministry.

Randi Jo :) said...

yes

Dustin said...

My feeling is that we spend so much time on making sure that Sunday is awesome that we forget that if our actions don't match what we do Sunday God is not happy (Amos 5. Go read and see).

Russell B said...

I'm gonna dare to go the other way here...

I agree with this to a degree, but lately I've been reading a lot of these and I have to say that attacking a church for being creative isn't right. The line of over doing can't be drawn by a blogger who see's an 'event' on the outside.

I agree totally that a sermon needs to be biblical, needs to be 'from God', but is a bike ramp for that church any different then crown molding, suits and fancy chandeliers? I mean to a degree each church 'designs' themselves for a particular crowd.

Paul spoke to the Roman's about the unknown god to help them make the transition to God, Jesus fed multitudes and spoke in parables to help people understand. As long as a church seeks God and preaches His word, who are we to judge another churches efforts?

What if you get to heaven and God says.. "why didn't you try harder?"

Jared said...

Russell, if you can't see the difference between church architecture and a motocross guy making jumps on the stage, I can't help you.

If I get to heaven and hear "Why didn't you try harder?" I will know the gospel had been a lie.

Jason said...

Jared, I see Russell's point to a degree. I've seen many churches more interested in opulent decor than bringing the Gospel. They think their "holy" image somehow translates into the Holy Spirit. There's no difference between the motorcycle church and the crown molding church if they both put focus on image more than Christ.

Jared said...

There's no difference between the motorcycle church and the crown molding church if they both put focus on image more than Christ.

Well, of course. I'd agree with that. But that's not the same thing as saying dirt bike tracks and crown moulding are both merely "decorations."

I tried to address this equal opportunity Christlessness in my 7th paragraph, the bit on "sound doctrine churches" that love their tradition or preacher more than the gospel.

Patrick said...

Where do I start? I serve as Art Director at Journey Church in Oklahoma. Personally, I think this is amazing.

The religiosity and the pharisaical attitude coming from this blog is thick.

I think you guys need to leave your church for a while because you've obviously been hanging around christians to much. If you would stop for a moment to realize that there is a great number of people who aren't connected to a church, might engage with a church that is willing to invest and produce something amazing to illustrate a truth that is in scripture.

You are right about one thing, It is awesome. And so was every mircale Jesus preformed. Jesus was ALL ABOUT THEATRICS. If you read the gospel with out your dogmatic, traditionalist blinders you might see read some pretty awesome things.

Patrick said...

I'm guss I'm just confused why a dirtbike and the gospel coexist? If you have a dirtbike does that mean you have to throw out "sound doctrine".

Jared said...

Patrick, thanks for your comment.

Matt said...

"Jesus was ALL ABOUT THEATRICS. If you read the gospel with out your dogmatic, traditionalist blinders you might see read some pretty awesome things."

That statement, it seems to me, is not only factually wrong (depending on how you define theatrics) but also self- refuting.

Factually wrong because if Jesus were 'ALL' about theatrics, he wouldn't have gone to the cross, because he would have jumped off the temple when tempted..and yes maybe with a jacked up motor cross bike with sparklers. Jesus, "Forget the messianic secret! It's time to ride!" Is your definition of theatrics- crucifixion? Then please don't invite me to your theatrical church. ;-)

Secondly, If we were to read the gospel without 'dogmatic, traditionalist blinders' we might see some pretty amazing things.
That presupposes these blinders are actually wrong, but you suggest wearing YOUR blinders instead, which are just as dogmatic!

Lastly, "The religiosity and the pharisaical attitude coming from this blog is thick." God, please rid Christendom from name calling.

Russell B said...

I'm with Patrick on this, I'm a Communications Director at a church outside of Atlanta. My point to it all is there are hundreds, probably thousands of churches in the south alone where a good intentioned pastor stands behind the pulpit and preaches his "KJV" bible to the same 10-40 people for the past 15-50 years. Stagnant churches, with good hearted people and pastors who preach God's word.

If you are looking a bike jumping a pastor as a gimmick to a shallow sermon... then I think you are looking at it all wrong. I look at it as a tract, a church where some "punk biker" that would be turned away at most churches can come because it sounds cool, and is allowed to hear a sermon that might change his/her life. It is about knowing your community and your audience to get people in the door where life change can happen.

My problem with this is two-fold...
1) your judging this pastor/church's "stupid act" on a 5min video that doesn't even show the guys sermon. "Yesterday I watched a video of a motocross bike jumping over a pastor on stage." God forbid that you might be judged on just 5 mins of your sermon?!?

2) your stereotyping churches that use creativity based on this one church. My pastor rode a dirt bike on the stage just a few weeks ago and our praise band sang "Born to be Wild"... but we had over 200 bikers at our church that weekend who listened to a solid message from our pastor and had shared a meal and an invitation to a small group following the service. in fact our pastor pretty much preached on this very topic (http://www.vimeo.com/13455563).

I believe that the "Power" doesn't even need us, so why should we even open our mouths? Where is this line drawn? Do we not post church signs or advertise our times? Do we not use sermon illustrations or stories when we preach? Why then isn't Sunday just standing up reading scripture and sitting back down?

I hope you understand where I am coming from, we are called to reach people and relate to people. God help us if we stop trying to relate and love on those who are lost and disconnected from God.

Jared said...

I spent over a decade in these kinds of churches, as a totally dedicated to the cause staff member, as well. I've been on the inside, and I know the motivation and the rationale very, very well. I was convinced at one time, so the arguments for things dirt bikes on the stage are not new to me. I used to make them myself.

The dirty secret is that this stuff doesn't work. Or, at least, it doesn't do what we say we want it to and what the Bible calls us to. We are just now seeing the data emerging on the relatively recent "seeker church" movement's results, and it bears this out.

Russell, if you want to talk lines, what about the other way? Where's the line for what won't be done, if getting people into the building is the focus? How much bait is okay? Is there a percentage of "theatrics" vs. "things we see in the Bible's descriptions of worship" that sets a standard?

The truth is we find no parallel for Trojan horse worship services -- where a message is wrapped inside an attraction -- in the Scriptures anywhere. Not with Jesus -- Patrick's claim about the miracles demonstrates no understanding of the purpose or meaning of the miracles -- or with the apostles.

Nobody here would say we're not called to relate to people and love them. Contextualization is good. Creativity is good. But those goodnesses have sent us off into gimmickry and pandering. That's not good.

Russell B said...

A shallow church is a shallow church with an attraction and without. My view is that we take ourselves too seriously. Most people don't want to do church because its so stuffy. I don't know about your churches, I know about mine. I know the church I am in is growing solid disciples for Christ. We have planted churches in 4 continents and have missionaries all over, we minister to specific needs, we do small groups, we do indpeth bible studies, our pastor writes a majority of what we use. You will not find more passionate person about discipleship and growing spiritual depth then my pastor (maybe someone the same). My point in saying all that you would probably place us in the same generalization of that church.

I agree that there are some things that I would prefer we not do. But we personally like to have fun, but we also preach a solid biblical message and grow disciples and servants. Shouldn't that line be drawn by that pastor? We have placed the worship center and Sunday service on this pedestal... Answer this honestly, if there were a motocross showcase and someone shared the gospel, would you be having the conversation? Where in the bible doesn't it say that we are supposed to meet corporately on Sunday at 11 and do what the order of worship says?

But again if your jumping bikes and preaching a personal gospel or bikes or driving around while your trying to preach or it's not really about God, it's about you... then yeah I have a problem with that.

I'm just saying many churches do tons of outreaches and its not a big deal, but this is. If this were a youth group and it were a Wednesday night... would that be bad? If it were in a football stadium, on a friday night would that be bad? Why is Sunday morning at 11 supposed to be a stand, sing, sit, listen, give time?

Jared said...

Russell, I feel like you've taken this post personally. If it doesn't apply to your church, that's great. Sounds like your fellowship is doing great things.

The motocross thing is an example. I know I called it out here as stupid, but the majority of the post is a generalization about the concept of entertainment-driven worship. I could replace the motocross thing with something else. If we disagree on the use of such things, that's cool. Let's talk about that.

But if you think I'm picking on any church that has fun or whatever, please understand that I'm not doing that.
I think some are seeing that I'm arguing for boring, dull, staid, uneventful and unattractive worship. I am not. I'm only saying what we are biblically charged with is exciting, wonderful, and attractive. Why don't we play up the gospel?

Peace, brother

Russell B said...

I take it personally only that my calling and career is to market my church. I take it seriously in that I feel my job is a form of evangelism. But I know your not attacking me and I don't take this personally.

I totally 100% agree with "I'm only saying what we are biblically charged with is exciting, wonderful, and attractive. Why don't we play up the gospel?" That is very well put.

But I wonder if this were 20 years if the headline would be "Church gets a website, that is stupid", or 10 years ago when some church decided to have a facebook group. (There are many churches today that are sadly fighting those battles). (I was going to go back to the 1300's... but hard to compare the first english Bible to a dirt bike).

Different for different's sake is pointless, but to be different to make a difference... I think is worth it, if you can answer to God for why are doing what you are doing.

We don't play up the gospel, we can't save people, but sometimes you have to make opportunities to get people to hear the power of the gospel. You can catch a fish with a fishing pole, but you can catch hundreds with a net...

If the church as a whole wasn't a generation or two behind our current culture (generalization, yes), then I would personally have a much easier job... we all would.

I usually don't get into debates or even comment on blogs much, but my former boss really liked your post and committed/linked it on his facebook. You can blame him :)

David said...

Russell - "I take it personally only that my calling and career is to market my church."

You might not have meant that, but I think this comment is telling...

Snacks from the cruise buffet said...

I'll give my small vote for many of the points Russell makes. I attend a very 'low-tech' church, but one situated in a different country. Followers of Jesus Christ who live in this cultural context [which is extremely different from the west/America] spend a lot of time thinking and praying about how best to communicate the good news to people here.

One hopes that the motorcross pastor was doing the same thing.

But how do we know what was in his heart, what his motivation was? "Profoundly stupid" may not be the best description.

In the last month I've been convicted personally about judging externals and Matt's comment about ridding Christendom from name-calling [and finger-pointing] is something I am working on--though commenting on this blog may fall into that category! :)

Randi Jo :) said...

It works to get them in the door. It works to get them to hear The Message --- but I have found that IF they DO accept Christ and this beautiful earth shattering message... they are set on fire and look for anybody who is as excited about what Jesus has done... and instead they find people excited about the next spectacular event next Sunday.

So they get excited yes... but excited about the wrong things....

If I've learned anything from marketing... if A Message "needs" a bait & switch or any marketing techniques... then it's probably too good to be true.... THE Message doesn't NEED anything.

REFLECT on this message --- if it's boring then it's a problem with OUR hearts. If we aren't on fire.. it's not because the Message needs to be shared differently... it's because WE are immature and not awakened to all He has done.

THE Message doesn't 'need'. Imagine if instead of the Sunday specatulars we spent our time loving & GOING into the world with The Message on a personal daily life level....

Imagine if people saw God's PEOPLE set on fire...and not stages on Sunday...

I really resent the judgement of "stagnant" churches... you have no idea what God is doing in their hearts and what He has done. The christian life is about obedience not impact. You have no clue of their seeds, their hearts.... so many things..

God will use each of us in different ways... differnet tools for different reasons.

I wrote more on Jared's next post "Why I'm against..."

Jared said...

Snacks:
But how do we know what was in his heart, what his motivation was? "Profoundly stupid" may not be the best description.

I don't know what was in his heart, although I'm sure his motivation, as I've already stated, is to reach lost people.
I didn't say "he" was stupid. I said having a dirtbike jump over you on stage was stupid. Actually, "profoundly stupid." I stand by that appraisal for the reasons already mentioned.

Noah said...

What you win them with, you win them to.

I saw the clip. My question would be to the people who left the service - "What was it all about?"

Would they say Jesus and the Gospel or would they say a motorcycle trick rider?

BTW, this is a question I ask after every service. If people say the music, or a sermon illustration, or anything else, I know I've failed.

I'm thinking of 1 Corinthians 1 as I look at the clip and read the comments. May we always preach the Gospel, "not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void." And we should remember "God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." (1 Corinthians 1:17, 21)

Patrick said...

I'm really still unclear as to why it's a big deal to have theatrics within the church.

I think you must take into account the culture to which your church is planted. Before I moved to Oklahoma, I was blessed to be a part of Mosaic in Los Angelas. It was rooted in the epicenter of pop-culture and the arts. We used theatrics every week to speak, relate, connect, and enggage.

Theatrics, visuals, art is just another form of communication. Consider it a parable with 200 horsepower that can fly 20-ft in the air.

Oh and Jesus was all about theatrics, just as an example, when he fed the five thousand one one loaf and two fish, it was basically a teaching moment for his disciples. Feeding the multitudes was just icing on the cake. Jesus was a rock star, he had a following, people loved him.

Here is the thing, there is plenty of grace to go around and it is not our job to stone the prophets. If a church wants to have a motorcycle, let them have a motorcycle, it really isn't your job to judge. And if a church wants to spend their budget on crown moldings and a gold plated pulpit, thats cool, I'm not the one that is going to hold them accountable for how they spent what God gave them.

Jared said...

Consider it a parable with 200 horsepower that can fly 20-ft in the air.

Patrick, I think we're running into trouble here b/c of how we're defining terms.

The parables of Jesus weren't "illustrations" in the same way we today use object lessons or other stories to illustrate message points. They certainly don't parallel motorcycle tricks.

Oh and Jesus was all about theatrics, just as an example, when he fed the five thousand one one loaf and two fish, it was basically a teaching moment for his disciples. Feeding the multitudes was just icing on the cake.

This is wrong. It demonstrates not only misunderstanding the text of John 6 but misunderstanding what the miracles were. Certainly not theatrics. And only barely "lessons."

Jesus was a rock star, he had a following, people loved him.

You know how the "feeding 5,000" story ends, right? You should probably go revisit it. The crowd didn't dig his teaching and bailed.

not our job to stone the prophets. If a church wants to have a motorcycle, let them have a motorcycle, it really isn't your job to judge.

This is the most tired remark of all. Saying a decision was stupid is equivalent to stoning is just silly.
Even you don't think criticizing others is wrong or judgmental, or you wouldn't be disagreeing with me on my blog.

Patrick, all due respect, I think you need to dig deeper into the Scriptures. Jesus as rock star, theatrics as miracles, etc. This is a superficial and deficient understanding of the means and methods of Jesus and his kingdom.

Seth said...

David said...

Russell - "I take it personally only that my calling and career is to market my church."

You might not have meant that, but I think this comment is telling...



I choked on that too... "to market my church"... My knee-jerk was "that's odious"... I suppose that the word of our Creator/God just doesn't have the same punch in our world today...

Patrick said...

I think you need to lighten up on your conservative views of scripture. I noticed you didn't argue with what I said about grace. I don't think you can.

I'm not saying I have scripture nailed, I don't think it's possible to have it nailed. I have so many questions, at the end of the day I love knowing that I've barely even scratched the surface.

At the end of the day, I don't think Jesus will care much about a motorcycle or how we dissect a a passage. I think it's about loving people, grace fills in the rest.

People read way to much into things like this. At journey, we do things like this all the time, most of the time its just because its fun.

There is room for fun in the kingdom isn't there?

Jared said...

I think you need to lighten up on your conservative views of scripture.

Haha! That would certainly bring our views closer together, wouldn't it?
Or you could tighten yours up. Either way. ;-)

I noticed you didn't argue with what I said about grace.

Of course not. God's love covers a multitude of sins. Including motocross stunts during worship. :-)

There is room for fun in the kingdom isn't there?

I already said there was.
But now we're far afield from my point in this blog post, which is that too many churches have traded in the power of the gospel for the lesser power of theatrics. I suppose we won't agree on that, and that's cool. It happens. But I'm just suggesting that how we preach and worship matters, and it matters so much that we ought to be clear on what the Bible says about it.

bakagigee said...

It seems like part of this conversation is really centered around the best/most faithful means of evangelism.

My understanding of this is quite simple. We pray for the spirit to impart new life, we preach the content of the gospel, and we seek to live it out in all our personal relationships.

One of the things I'm most concerned about is the fact that I think many people have replaced ordinary everyday faithful gospel living with an invitation to see a motocross event at church... and hear the message of the gospel (good case scenario) at that gathering.

I believe that people should be able to listen to our message and look at our lives and see a life that is so graciously radical that it makes a motorcycle jump in a sanctuary seem boring.

If you've got all three - message motorcycle, and the life, then I'm not as concerned. But if in reality your average Christian has got a message, a motorcycle and a life that spends most of it's time and energy making sure the motorcycle is all shined up and ready to go then you're going to have problems. They might not show up right away, but they're going to show up.

What are we emphasizing? What are we emphasizing? May God give us the grace to answer that question with brutal honesty. If we emphasize anything as much or more than the gospel, then we are being unfaithful to Jesus. It's that simple. And a lot of times what we think we're emphasizing, is not the same thing as what others are taking away from it.

Plan your service in such a way that not only can someone hear the gospel, but they can't help but come to the conclusion that it's the most important thing in the life of the church.

If you can do that and it involves a motorcycle - God bless you. But don't be surprised if one day your conscience won't allow it.

Randi Jo :) said...

good discussion.

@bakagigee - great concluding words there for me - I'm with you.

it seems to be really now a discussion more of the 'model' of church than anything else. Is our fellowship all about Sunday? attracting people to an event? Or about being a fellowship for believers to be empowered to GO out. I think that once God touched my life so powerfully and awakened me --- I no longer needed to use the Sunday event as a crutch in a way.... maybe in that way the attractional Sunday only church I was apart of filled the purpose God had it for in my life at that time.... ahh gotta run - baby is calling

Kelly said...

Jared, thank you. Great post! I, too, love the statement:
"I can say this because there's only one thing we hold that the New Testament calls "power," and that's the gospel."

johnb. said...

i think the statement that kelly referenced above is really the issue at hand. none of the opponents of this post's sentiments would say that the Gospel is powerless (at least i'd hope not!), but what that exactly means determines the methodology we take. further, it's quite understandable how it does.

what i mean is this: if we take a more monergistic approach to the gospel's working, then bells and whistles are nothing more than bells and whistles. they can be there or they cannot be, but they never NEED to be there in any functional sense. however, if one is decidedly (ironic word choice, huh? ha!) synergistic in their understanding of salvation and the gospel, then the most appropriate thing they could possibly do is have dirt bikes, rock bands, movie themed series, taboo topics ("Your Best Sex Life Now", et. al.). They MUST do these things because they've got to get that 'decision' or the card signed or whatever they consider a metric of conversions.

Though I by no means would advocate these approaches by and large, I think that understanding the theological underpinnings helps us get at our differences in a more precise way. It's not a methodological discussion so much as a theological one.

But, to echo you echoing Paul echoing the Spirit, the gospel is the power to save. And, as Jesus put it so bluntly, "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Randi Jo :) said...

Been thinking about this post a lot. Here's what I'm thinking now...

there's all this talk of using your talents for God's work.... giving Him your best... being creative is a great thing... and I actually agree with all that..

I think it's very applicable to use your talents/passions to reach people - BUT -- to do it OUTSIDE and actually WITH the people outside the church family. I think it all boils down to what we think Sunday is all about. what is the purpose of the gathering?

I thought (think) Sunday should be a gathering of Christ followers coming together to challenge, encourage, learn, grow together, hear the gospel to remember and reflect --- to therefore turn around and be able to GO into the worlds - using talents to do it if you want. The reason this awesomeness and desire for marketing/attraction has come into Sunday is because we are using sunday as our evangelical strategy ("inviting people to church") without even having relationship with people.

Maybe it would be a great thing to hold events, make movies, videos, paintings, etc. to attract people and then have the ability to share the Message through them...but that shouldn't be replacing the only time the week The Church gathers together as one to worship.

Nate Filewood said...

Matt, i hear what you're saying (regardless of all the arguments against what you've said)and its great. It's right.
And it challenges me as a young leader and lay elder in my local church who feels called to the ministry full time.
Great post man, loving the desire and look forward to reading and hearing more from you.

Molly @ Star Cottage said...

I'm voting for Bakagigee on this one ;)
But Jared, I had a question, I have never heard of this motorcycle jumping thing your talking about till reading your post, but the basic jist of it sounds familiar in some ways to this "beer and bible" "church on tap" and "acts 29" stuff that alot and I mean alot of our friends(People we love) are flocking to. Like they need to lure people into a bar with beer just to get them to listen to the Gospel. But now all the christians are drinking and acting all "too cool for school" like they are all hip and stuff and relevant. More like Lame! God saved me from the bar scene and there is no way in HEdoublehockeysticks I'm going back. And people argue the comfort level thing like going to church is stepping out of their comfort zone so we will meet them in the bar. Well let me tell you something, being a christian isn't about comfort! I think you already sense my view on this.
I'd like to hear your take on it too.

Jared said...

Molly, it's a good question. I hesitate to answer it b/c not all "pub ministries" are created equal. It's hard to respond to the general idea and not a specific manifestation of it.
I am sure some folks do the beer thing as a lame attractional gimmick. I read of one such place I think is doing it poorly just today.

But the main difference I can see between motocross on the stage and how the Acts29 type churches, for instance, do theology in a pub or brewery is that one is a "come and see" and the other is a "go and tell." One uses something flashy to attract, the other uses something ordinary (drinking a pint with a friend goes back literally thousands of years).

When it's done well/right, churches go where the lost are and bring the gospel to them in their context. This at least has biblical precedent.

A dirtbike doing tricks in a sanctuary is an entirely new context. Contrary to some seeing this approach reflected in Jesus' miracles, there's no biblical precedent for it.

As always, intent is key. But even good intentions don't nullify unbiblical execution.

Molly @ Star Cottage said...

Great Response Jared, Thank you for putting it perspective.
God Bless