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Wednesday, July 09, 2008 

Reaching The NASCAR Unchurched

click on picture to enlarge

In what shall remain for the most part a private email, "J" took me to task for my last post in which I was a wee bit critical of the C3 megachurch’s attempt at a reaching the lost by bringing in a replica of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s racecar to get ‘em in the door. That’s fine, I can take the criticism.

Again, my problem with using gimmicks or props to promote any message, whether it be sacred or secular, is that said gimmick or prop frequently overshadows the message. The linked news story is proof of that in spades. At no time is Jesus the focus of the church’s message if the story is accurate. In fact, Jesus isn’t mentioned, not even by the staff of C3!

On the other hand, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is mentioned six times.

So, I ask, what is the focus of C3 last Sunday? If a person has to go out of his or her way to find Jesus being proclaimed how is that helping the unchurched NASCAR fan? It ain’t. NASCAR may be entertaining if that’s your sport of choice, but NASCAR offers no salvation from sin, death, and the devil. Jesus on the other hand does offer eternal life for all who would by God given faith believe.

But, just to prove that I’m not heartless, well, maybe I am little, I do have an idea for reaching the unchurched racing fans all: the LCMS Studebaker. As we who belong to LCMS congregations are painfully aware, the LCMS is usually a little behind the times. Our normal modus operandi is to follow techniques and trends that are at least 30 to 40 years behind the times, so why should our racing outreach programs be any different? Why not repurpose the LCMS Studebaker and dedicate it for mission outreach?

So everyone needs to email and call their ecclesiastical superiors, district and synodical representatives today and tell them to pull the LCMS Studebaker out of mothballs and meet people where they are at; the racetrack. Megachurches like C3 are already getting them in the doors by this technique and there is no reason at all that we can’t out-megachurch the megachurches. We need to demand that the LCMS Studebaker get an oil change and be put back on the roads immediately. There is no reason at all that this tremendous mission outreach tool go the way of the LCMS balloon of the 1980’s. No reason at all.

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You know, that car reminds me a little bit too much of my grandfather's car. And since this isn't our grandfather's church... maybe we need something a little more 1970's. A nice VW bus or maybe an old TransAm. Isn't that what young people want these days?

Great image!

Preacherboy, The missus was saying just last night after looking through a JCPenny’s catalogue that the ‘70’s era ruffles and fashions are back. So at first you might think that maybe a ‘70’s era car might be in order as well. However, the LCMS has a track record of being a little behind the times when it comes to programs and the LCMS Studebaker would fit that bill.

Seriously, everything that I’m seeing says that the kids I teach want their grandfather’s church (and their car for that matter).

Dizziness, thanks a bunch!

Hey....that looks like my grandfather's car, too!

That Studebaker MUST be MAUVE!

“There was, in the before times, in the long, long ago, a time when not everything was MAUVE.”

We are in the here and now, I know that. Stick around, and soon, very soon, you’ll be happy.

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
  • Confessional Lutheran
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