Archive for September 5, 2008

Everything in the Church is becoming commercialized these days. From marketing to music, it seems the ubiquitous Joneses the Body of Christ seems to be keeping up with is the world as a whole.

Now, thanks to this story in the Washington Post, we can clearly add sermons to the mix of the decline of homiletics.

Since June, [Pastor Rob] Seagears, senior pastor at Christ Chapel Mountaintop in Prince William County, has based his sermons on the summer’s blockbusters, managing to draw life lessons from the most unlikely subject matter.

The Summer Cinema Series, which concludes today, seeks to attract those who don’t ordinarily attend church while making the experience more fun for those who do. The four-year-old church averages about 20 visitors a week, in addition to members, which is significant considering that attendance usually lags during the summer, he said.

“We try to make church and God applicable to people’s lives,” said Seagears, 47.

Here, here, pastor.

As opposed to finding hilarious, cheeseball morphings of famed logos (like this one pictured), this approach to Hollywoodizing sermons works. Wall Watchers and pastors alike, we can do much… much… better. And if we do, you too may get featured in national newspapers.

To some pastors – whom will go without their “seeker-sensitive” names [they know who they are] – the Gospel can be about butts in seats. To others, like it seems from Pastor Seagears, it’s about those in the seats getting of their blessed @$$urance and doing something with the messages they hear.

As much as I hate to say it, the days of Billy Sunday shouting scriptures from a street corner, D.L. Moody seeking to just create a small Sunday school class and William Seymour bucking the trends on Azuza for the needs of revival are long past us.

Today’s fast-paced, microwave-blessing, instant-blessing church folk need something more to get their attention. They are accustomed to technology, multimedia and explosions from the greatness of Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer to get their attention. Hey, these sermons are a start.

Don’t believe me? Take these prolific and soothsaying quotes from the story:

Said Kendel Montgomery, 15: “Before they did the cinema thing, I was like, aw, I have to go to church. But now I’m like, okay, it’s going to be interesting. “Younger people my age, instead of, like, wanting to fall asleep, you’re more focused and tuned in,” said Kiara Morrow, 19.

Two thumbs up? Definitely!