One of my church members came to me with a ticket to an event that he'd heard about that offered a chance to win the choice of 1 of 2 brand new vehicles. All I had to do, according to the ticket, was listen to a 3 minute story. So I looked a the ticket and went to the web site, and here's what I found. Apparently you set up a private viewing area that has these videos available for viewing. People watch the videos and fill out a card that asks them if they want to make a decision to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. The card serves as their registration for the car give-a-way.
I don't know how I feel about this. I love the idea of using people's stories to share the truth of Jesus Christ, but I hate the idea of having to bribe them to do so. Then again, people came to Jesus all the time because they heard that he might perform some kind of miracle , or heal them of their sickness. Isn't that the same thing? At what point, though, does the car give-a-way overshadow the Savior? The idea behind this is that people will be lured in by the prospect of winning a new car, but once they enter the private viewing area, they are introduced to the unexpectedly wonderful story of Jesus. Is this a good idea, or is it just a bait and switch?
If it's ok for us to lure people in with a chance to win a new car, then would it be ok for us to offer free crack to people who will listen to a story for three minutes? At what point is it ok to use this kind of tool, and at what point is it no longer ok? I'll be real honest: I'm uncomfortable with the car give-a-way side of this, but I'm not at all uncomfortable with the fact that everyone who comes to Jesus does so out of selfish motivation. What's the difference between coming because you want a car, and coming because you want heaven instead of hell?
Anyway, check out the site and see what you think. I'd really love to get your insight on this one, so please post a response. I'd especially love to hear from those of you who aren't particularly involved in church, or who wouldn't consider yourselves Christians. How would this kind of thing hit you?
By the way, if you respond, I'll give you a free car!