Thursday, February 07, 2008

Evangelists' next target: NASCAR fans

I'm not sure if there's a convention-wide effort here, but at least two local Baptist churches have latched onto a NASCAR theme for their latests evangelism efforts.

Since Jan. 12, Brookwood Baptist's pastor the Rev. Mark Sutton has been leading a sermon series titled, "Speed." With sermon titles such as "The Race," "Pit Crew," and "The Crash," he uses the analogy to talk about living a Christian life with good friends and how to change your life when its gone off track. Apparently, the sanctuary is also decorated with NASCAR memorobilia. The series continues through Feb. 17.

And this weekend, Ellerbe Road Baptist Church is hosting "Speed Sunday," a "Sunday with a strategy" to reach out to unbelieving NASCAR fans. A car show will begin the morning during the normal Sunday School hour, and NASCAR Champion Lake Speed will speak. They aren't having a formal srvice but a "gathering" so Speed can share his story, people can ask questions and the gospel can be presented.

I'm intrgued by how the strategy works for them. I guess I assumed -- wrongly? -- that most NASCAR fans were already Christian, since the sport originated just up the road from the Rev. Billy Graham's hometown. But You certainly can't deny the popularity of NASCAR, so maybe it will attract some attention.

What do you think about using something like NASCAR to spread the gospel?


John said...

What do you think about using something like NASCAR to spread the gospel?

If I could find somewhere that those who were left in charge of spreading the True Gospel of Jesus Christ -- the Apostles and those converts beyond --- used any method other than witnessing (be it verbal, by lifestyle, by miracles), then I'd say "go for it".

But, I see this as just another method of replacing true Christian responsibility with hype. It seems that if we can't get them in by the Biblical method that we'll use any old excuse to try to get them in the doors.

IMO, I don't think the Lord is pleased.

Diane Haag said...

Is there some merit, though, in putting the gospel in language people can understand?

John said...

Sure.....if it's in a spoken language.:)

Again, I am only basing my comments on scripture. Far too many times today we "do" things to promote Truth with the right motive but without any scriptural support. We justify a method by saying "If one person is reached, it'll be worth it".

I can't agree with that. We can do the wrong thing with the right motive and vice-versa.

The original Church reached their world by voice, by lifestyle and by God confirming His word with signs following them. What changed?

I think if we truly search ourselves, we'll find out what changed: we did, not God.

If you get someone to church using NASCAR, how are you going to keep them there? Are we going to show races on Sunday just so they'll show up again?

So, I'm would one put the Gospel -- the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4) -- in NASCAR terms? :)