Gas to save your soul?

I thought the following story was an Internet hoax when I first learned about it. After reading it in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution I still read it with disbelief.

Gas to save your soul? Church has offer for you
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/09/08

Officials at First Baptist Church of Snellville want to pay for your gas and maybe even give your teenager a car.
Actually, they want to entice newcomers and backsliders to their May crusade and they’re using ever-rising gas pump prices as a clever draw. And one blessed teenager will drive away with a 2000 Ford Explorer.
From Sunday morning through Wednesday night, each time regulars or religious freshman stroll through the doors to attend a revival, they’ll get another chance to win one of two $500 gas cards.
Teenagers will qualify for a drawing Tuesday night for one of 10 car keys. Then, one-by-one those fortunate few will take turns starting the SUV’s engine to learn who gets to keep it.
“A lot of folks have gotten excited about this opportunity,” head pastor Rusty Newman said.
For decades, churches have tried to entice wayward residents through their doors through spaghetti supers, revivals and summer camps. This a new twist was thought up by James Lee, the church’s pastor for senior adults.
He knew gas prices are on folks’ minds and suggested: “If we’re here to serve people, why don’t we meet an need,” Newman said.
The church has about 9,000 members on its rolls, but only about 2,500 regularly attend Sunday morning services, the pastor said. Obviously, that’s something he hopes to change.
The church has brought in evangelist Ronnie Hill to lead the crusade. Hill, who grew up in Texas and Indiana, travels throughout the nation preaching everything from small congregations to megachurches.
Hill will lead services at the Snellville church Sunday at 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
The gas giveaway is Wednesday, which kicks off with a $3 steak dinner at 6 p.m., with hot dogs for the kids.

For more information visit the church’s website at http://www.fbcsnell.org or call 770-978-5717.

Here is the pastor giving more explanation on the local news channel: Click Here

So, what do you think? Do any of you have an opinion? If so, I want to know.


5 Responses to “Gas to save your soul?”

  1. 1 Ron
    May 13, 2008 at 7:29 am

    I think your post prior to this one is appropriate.

    I believe it was Paul who wrote in 1 Cor 2:1-5, “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

    I am thankful for the ministry of Crosspoint in that cute fads and pop ideas don’t find a place there. I am thankful that what is delivered from the pulpit is pure Bible. The cross of Christ is the message that is always heard when people attend the services. I’m sure the debate on this is just beginning for some, but for me it is already over.

    Bless you for leading God’s people to a substantive walk with God.

  2. 2 Jennifer
    May 13, 2008 at 10:35 am

    How is it different from us providing Play Stations or X-Box gaming units for our youth to play with at church to entertain them?

  3. May 13, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    I am not sure I see your point. Are you suggesting an X-Box or Play Station is an enticement to come to church?

  4. 4 Jennifer
    May 14, 2008 at 7:08 am

    In the days I participated in the youth Sunday School, those gaming stations were the focus of so many little hearts and mind. It was as if they had to be peeled away from them and forced to sit and listen to a lesson before they could go back to the game and finish what they had started. I guess for some kids who don’t have them at home, they are indeed an enticement. It’s just my opinion 🙂

  5. May 14, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Okay, now I see where you are going Jennifer. I see how that could be an enticement.

    I think you and are on the same page. One of the biggest threats to the church of North America is the pragmatic mindset that we measure everything by dollars and cents, numbers and noses. Thus, to pump up the numbers we must offer other things–extra things–that prop up the gospel.

    I believe I can say this about CrossPoint. We may have a lot of bells and whistles associated with our new buildings. Yet at the core of all we do is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the result of His Good News inacted in our lives.

    Jennifer, thank you for your input.

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