Easter Stunt Alert: Pastor in a Box

Easter is quickly approaching and many churches are gearing up to reach people who don't normally come to church.  So I shouldn't be surprised to see a church doing a stunt that just doesn't sit well with me.

Calvary Church in Irving Texas is promising to put their pastor in a six foot, clear plastic box on top of the church for four days if 4,000 people show up for Easter weekend.  The potentially boxed pastor, Ben Dailey, says:

This might be cheesy, but what can I say? I am passionate about the church getting out and being the church, not just within our walls, but outside of them as well. It's time for the church to get out of the box and let our world know that we serve a great God and have fun doing it.

I don't know this church.  And honestly, I don't have the best first impression, which is sad because by reading their website and looking at their mission I like a lot of what they say.

In recent months Calvary Church has experienced amazing growth.  Lives are being touched and changed. People are experiencing freedom, restoration, and spiritual growth. God is up to something...something incredible. Calvary Church has a simple mission statement: REACH. We reach up [loving God], reach in [serving each other], and reach out [changing the world]. For the month of April we are calling on the Calvary Church family to reach out like never before! We are asking that people perform random acts of kindness to neighbors, co-workers, and strangers.

This sounds good to me.  It seems like this is what a church should be doing.  So why go and potentially risk the authenticity being developed by getting attention for a stunt like this?

What do you think?  Will this bring people in or turn them off?  Should we applaud a church for taking risks like this even if it gets some adverse reaction?

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Risk taking is what it’s all about, but to set yourself on the top of the church for days in a box is way to much.  I lke the idea of doing what you can for your family, friends and community, but stunts like that make it a joke.  In God’s Grace John

What can I say, it’s Texas. The Republic of Texas. The big shiny buckle of the Bible belt. I like these people. They are sweet, the pastor seems deeply committed and evangelistic, it’s very contemporary, sophisticated, successful. I like where they are theologically in their statement of beliefs. But the stunt seems more like Las Vegas than the kingdom. Jesus drew crowds too through stunning displays. He attracted crowds through healing people. The disciples did the same. Healings attracted the crowds and evangelism always followed whether in the commission of the original 12, the commission of the 70 and finally in the great commission in Mark 16 given to us all. That is also the pattern today in Africa and South America. Healing requires Faith and God’s activity. Sitting in a plastic box requires no faith, anyone can do it and it makes no statement about the faith. But as Paul says, “But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.”

I am new to this blog but ran across this as I was Googling “www.pastorinabox.com”.  I must say that this has drawn quiet a fire storm across the web, and the lines seem to be drawn in the sand.  As an active member of Calvary Church I am fortunate that I get to see how God is moving.  For the first time in a long time I can honestly say that I love going to church. The love and forgiveness I have found at Calvary Church proved to me that God’s love is real.  I just wanted to drop a line say thank you as this blog has been much kinder than others.  After reading several of the articles and post I have added Think Christian to my rss feed.  Many Thanks.

I went to the site http:pastorinabox.com/blog.  Pastor Ben just put a link to this blog on his blog now.  I cant wait for this event, its going to be great to see all the people come to hear the message during this season.

I am a member of Calvary Church-Praise the Lord for such amazing Pastors that are willing to go above and beyond to reach the unchurched. I already have 3 unbelievers coming with me to the Easter Service and the service following Easter. What does it matter how we reach them as long as they are brought in to hear the word of God…..Absolutely amazing.

I’m sort of in two minds about this. While I think it’s great to get people coming to church, it also gives the impression of the church as a gimmick. It’s hard enough to get people to take faith and the church seriously. Although I do suppose what’s more important is what goes on inside the church once the people get there. We’ll see.

I don’t know? Let’s look at Jesus… He ever take any risk? Do anything out of the “ordinary”? Maybe stir the waters with the religious leaders of his day? I think he did. It’s one thing when a church advertises something against the word of God to get people in the door… but putting a man on a roof? SERIOUSLY? You think God’s offended by that? I’d Like you to talk to the numerous people whose lifes are changed at this service and ask them if the silly “cheesy” gesture was worth it to them… the ones that will be forever joined with us in heaven.

I am an active member of Calvary Church, and I have been for many many years. We all seem to be looking at the pastor and what he will be doing for attendence at Calvary Church on Easter Sunday and the week after…but we are not looking at the bigger picture. The church is doing it to bring people into church and hear the Word of God. Some for the very first time. We should be thankful that our pastor is willing to go above and beyond what any other church would do, just to bring people into to church! Who are we to judge…we need to be thankful that there will be many lives saved and turned around on Easter Sunday and the week after as well

I feel like this is a stunt, probably harmless, definitely lame.

However, my father-in-law is not saved, and mildly (to severely, at times) adverse to the Gospel.  I can tell you exactly how he feels about this: “What is wrong with those stupid Christians?  What, they think they’re David Blaine now?  They want people’s money so badly now that they’re going to become stunt men to get it?”

Jesus attracted crowds *by healing the sick, serving his fellow man, and living a genuine life in obedience to God*.  Why do American Christians think we have to go beyond that to rustle up interest in the Word?

Church as circus. Spectacle is not a substitute for ministry.

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