Ed Young Jr's secret to winning over unchurched people in the 21st century certainly has a lot to do with his study of the latest trends that emerge in his surrounding culture. It would certainly seem the billboard on the right did not escape Pastor Ed's eagle eye of relevance. It is certainly a persuasive advertisement for 3D movie technology and how it is the latest, greatest, and coolest thing to ever hit our screens. Except for one small oversight - this 3D promotional poster is from the 1950's - yes, more than 50 years ago! I am already drafting my apology to all churches that use 80's music as a lure for people who were born after 1990. Their lameness does not even come close to the new dizzy heights achieved by Ed Young Jr!
The following quotes that appear in italics are from the Dallas Morning News who ran a story on Young's "latest innovation":
To Young, taking advantage of the latest 3-D craze is just another way to reach people who might not otherwise come to church. "Christmas is the best time of the year for people to give God a shot," he said.
What does he mean by "give God a shot"? That people should visit his aisle in the idol supermarket? That he lives in the hope that his god might measure up to the requirements of discerning pagans? "Hey you've tried everything else, why not try out my god!"
"What a great opportunity for the church," Young said. "3-D is so hot."
This reminds me of every item of clothing in my wardrobe. Yes it is all "so hot" - it's just that the era I wore each item never happened to coincide with the historical moment when it was "so hot".
Young emerged from a critique session after the service to say he was "blown away" by how things went, but would be working with staff to improve instructions for when people should put on and take off the glasses.
Great to see Ed Young Jr prioritizing his time like all good shepherds should - as the CEO of a marketing firm with a low view of their clients!
Dave Travis, managing director of Dallas-based Leadership Network - a firm that advises churches in growth strategies - said as far as he knows this is the first time churches have used 3-D.
Wow - only 50 years after the cinemas caught on to the idea! Maybe there is a reason why churches have never used 3D. Maybe they were too busy doing stuff like . . . . I don't know . . . . preaching??!!!
Most in attendance gave a big thumbs-up, though some added that the makers of Avatar shouldn't feel threatened. "It was old school, like when 3-D first came on," said Marque Ross.
So it didn't quite measure up to James Cameron's work? What a surprise . . .
"It's a little cheesy, but cheese works," said Ed Young, pastor of the Grapevine-based megachurch. On Saturday night about 4,000 people - nearly a full house - came for the first of the church's well-advertised 3-D Christmas services. Adults and children alike each got a pair of paper-frame glasses with red and blue plastic lenses. They donned them for three brief videos shot in 3-D. The third re-created a real-life episode from last Christmas, in which Young's dogs got into the living room and tore up gift packages.
We're talking quality cheese here! Watching dogs eat gift wrapping through red and blue plastic lenses certainly has deep seated connections with the Christmas story . . . somehow . . . actually I need some help on this one . . .
After that video, the lights went up, and Young himself, fully dimensional in jeans and a sweater, appeared on stage. "You can take your glasses off now," he said, laughing. He then preached on the Christmas story, arguing that accepting Jesus as savior is the way to find depth in life.
Jesus does not need our acceptance Ed, but it seems that you need the world's. Unfortunately, embracing the latest craze from the 50's may not be the best way to go about it.
Ed Young Jr has now appeared twice in the "Lame Attempts At Relevance" archive making him a true hall of shamer.
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Weekend A La Carte (September 22)
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