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Sunday, June 11, 2006

the power team


There’s this belief among Christians that for one's occupation and hobbies to glorify God they have to be able to be taken out on a traveling evangelism road-show.

You can’t just be a farmer and be good at it. Or bring honor to Christ through honest business practices. Or innovative ideas. Or hard work. OR THE GOSPEL.

You can’t do whatever you do, do it as for God and not for men.

A good example of this is the Power Team. I think they were touring Assemblies of God churches or something when I was of a youth group age. (I like to call it dis-assemblies of God which I think is really clever but someone probably thought of ages ago.)

If you haven’t been to see the Power Team, it’s basically a bunch of body builders that break, bend, or tear bricks, bats, phonebooks, or bars, with various parts of their bodies. They do everything you pretended to do when you were a kid but just didn't have the muscles for. They also blow up water bottles (the old fashioned red rubber kind) until they pop. It’s interspersed with Christian catchphrases and typical athlete post achievement God things (pointing up, making the cross out of the stuff you just broke) and testimonies like, “I used to do roids but then I got saved and I don’t anymore." Probably my favorite kind of testimony. The kind where the sin is the main idea and the cool thing rather than the gospel. God is just sort of like your hypnotherapist whose only purpose was helping you stop a bad habit. Anyway bricks are broken. Bats shattered. Then you get saved at the end.

<begin beefcake wrestler voice>

“JESUS AND STEROIDS GAVE ME THE POWER TO TEAR THIS PHONEBOOK IN HALF! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

</end beefcake wrestler voice>


If your church isn’t going so well, you might want to consider the Power Team. Their website shows these statistics:

*2-3 out of every ten accept Jesus

*20% average church growth

*our methods are proven

*you can’t afford not to have us in! (what does that even mean?)

*churches actually doubled in size after hosting a Power Team crusade!

*for every $10 a church spends in a Power Team crusade, we see someone accept Christ.

*hundreds, even thousands, give their lives to Christ during a typical crusade.

*we are second only to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in # of salvations across America over the past 25 years.

Have they done any follow up studies to see if people still went to Church afterwards when they found out that there would not be brick breaking on a weekly basis?

Is there someone who keeps the scores on whose ministry has the best numbers? Has it existed for 25 years? It reminds me of the scoreboard I saw on larknews.com one time. It said fantasy preaching league and it had scores for Benny Hinn, Luis Palau, etc.

They also have a girl on the team now known as the “Minister of Pain”. I guess there is nothing in the bible that specifically says women can’t be Ministers of Pain.

Even though I think this should not take the place of the gospel it's still pretty cool.

I think things are changing now and people are turning back to the gospel as a means of preaching the gospel rather than freak shows and traveling circuses. If you are Arminian then you better have a great light show, play with the temperature, change the oxygen content of the room, play the most emotionally moving music, drag out that invitation, and have “every eye closed and every head bowed” and remind them of that car accident they are going to have on the way home because it’s merely a human decision that can be influenced by human strategies.

I’m glad my role as a pastor is not to be a charismatic cult figure and I won’t feel like I have to rely on the traveling freak show for God to do something in my congregation. I’m just a lightning rod for God, preaching the gospel. His word will break the hearts of stone instead of muscles gained through Arminian steroids.

1 Comments:

Blogger Screaming Pirate said...

I wonder if the minster of pain would make a good minsters wife..... we could be co-pastors of our local "community center"(come on you know the type)....... I wonder if she would be a submisive wife? or if she would constaintly be minstering to me. To many questions here. Prov 31:10 "An excelent wife who can find?"

Thu Jun 15, 08:03:00 AM PDT  

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