Cars, Cup Holders, & Complaining

Chrysler has announced it will be showcasing their new cars and SUVs at mega-churches in a strategy to reach more African-American consumers. Chevy used a similar marketing ploy back in 2002 with their trucks. Remember "Chevrolet presents the Come Together and Worship Tour"? What's next, Hyundais at Korean Presbyterian churches? Hybrids at Episcopal churches? BMWs at Joel Osteen's church?

In other news, Eagle Brook Church in Lino Lakes, Minnesota has designed their new auditorium with theater-style cup holders. "Coffee is such a part of our church culture," director of operations Scott Anderson said. "If they're gonna bring it in, they need a place to put it. It was a logistical decision." However, not everyone is excited about the new convenience. Anderson admits that to some in the local press "it doesn't seem very spiritual."

Finally, Rev. Will Bowen of Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, has challenged his congregation to go 21 days without complaining. To help overcome the urge to whine, Bowman has given out 230 purple elastic wristbands. If you complain, the band is switched to the other wrist and you try again. After two months, and to no one's surprise, only one person at the church has achieved the goal - Rev. Bowman.

October 20, 2006

Displaying 1–10 of 16 comments


October 29, 2006  11:18am

Cup holders in church? Not that shocking. Most churches I've been to have cup holders, especially the most traditional Baptist churches. There to put the wee plastic cup of grape juice when you're done with communion. Is the argument here more over bringing coffee to church and needing larger cup holders?

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Jon Privett

October 24, 2006  7:44pm

Wow! I thought I had heard everything. I forgot to buy creamer one Sunday in my last church and I thought I was going to get a free coupon for a U-Haul on Monday! Coffee has been divinized! I think the greatest threat to pastoral burnout is handling critics and complainers. Every pastor has a few or a few too many. I think there should be WMD for complainers. I like the OT where the ground opens up when leadership is questioned. Small wonder evangelicals are on the wane with this consumer-driven culture that will do anything to appease the world. I JOhn 1:15-16 is stuck in my head when I read stuff like this. We have at our church a coffee area called "Holy Grounds". I felt guilty after reading the article because I am the guy who came up with the slogan! Next sermon: "Coffee or Christ! Jon Privett Baker City, Oregon

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October 23, 2006  6:28pm

Well, I guess its good that my church doesn't have a parking lot– no fear of ever showing new cars, we don't have the space. However, the issue of selling stuff at church came up this week at my church, because a parachurch ministry is selling pumpkins in front of the church as a fundraiser. To sell cars and invest the profit in overseas missions, to perhaps buy a car for a pastor who preaches at multiple churches in a day and rides a bike because he can't afford a car, would be a good thing. But to show cars at church to benefit the greedy corporations seems very unethical. I think coffee-cup holders would be a distraction in church. I would be thinking about my coffee instead of God. Though it seems legalistic, I agree with a sign on the sanctuary door of the church I grew up in: "No food, drinks, or gum chewing allowed".

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October 23, 2006  2:39pm

Personally I am not shocked - nor am I offended -by the idea of cupholders in the pew. Is that somehow more offensive than cups being left on the floor in church that allow coffee into their sanctuary? As for the car sales - that has no place in the church. But one other thing ... why is it that every controversial idea seems to get directly linked to the "leadership theory" of men like Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels and John Maxwell? They aren't the ones who have promoted bringing car shows to church. When we lump all of the things we find offensive in one big pile, and place it under one all-inclusive banner - when we create an "us versus them" mentality - are we really doing anything to build the kingdom of God? Are we really "standing for truth" or have we started standing for what we like and dislike?

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J. W.

October 23, 2006  12:15pm

I'd have a hard time explaining such idolatry to the homeless kids I've met overseas who live in sewers and must sell their bodies to survive, and sniff glue to mask the hunger pains and give them a sensation of warmth. Perhaps some of these churches would better spend their money to send their entire congregations to a 3rd world country for a couple of weeks instead of investing in the cup holders and the like. Maybe it would give them a better biblical perspective on what matters in God's eyes. Oops, I forgot–it's all about comfort. Guess that idea won't fly.

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Kevin Jackson

October 23, 2006  10:04am

"Our sermon is next...but first, this message from Starbucks, your home for heavenly coffee..." God help us.

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October 23, 2006  2:12am

now if they would only have a full bar at church...

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anonymous pastor

October 22, 2006  7:57pm

car sponsorships! i love it!

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Carl Holmes

October 22, 2006  2:39pm

I can not abide by cars being sold at church. The first time I see one being sold at my church I am out of there. I attend a "mega church" but do not think we would be so careless. What is the big deal with cupholders in the pews though? Is their a divine mandate I did not get in bible school that said "thou shalt be uncomfortable in the seats?" I just spent a weeekend at a mens retreat sitting on the most uncomfortable seats I have sat on in a long time. If the church wants to invest in nicer chairs and a little bit of creature comfort than so be it. When the praise and worship goes a little long, or the sermon is a little more involved than usual than I will be more comfortable and probably a little more apt to stick around.

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October 21, 2006  9:38pm

Talk about a sell out to the consumer culture! Selling cars at church - you've got to be joking!Coffee holders on seats - so you just look at what happens in church as another form of entertainment. Jesus as the "life-style" option, not the Saviour of the world - the God who is worthy of our worship. We all need to repent in dust and ashes and cry out for mercy. We need to remember - "the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". What about - "work out your own salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING" -Our God is a holy and awesome God and this is how we treat Him?!! Just another product to be sold in the market place. God have mercy on us sinners.

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