A Letter (if you will)

March 21, 2012

I live in the southeastern U.S. 

When you’re driving down the road you can really tell. Not only are we incredibly flat and chock full of pines/oaks/and scrub brush (I speak for Florida), but we have some common roadside attractions. You can’t really go by many major intersections where you don’t find somebody trying to sell something (beef jerky is very common). You also find a Publix grocery store on most corners. BBQ restaurants are a common (and delicious) site. One may also noticed that they will drive by a huge number of churches.

All the church denominations are represented, but Baptist/Southern Baptist/Church of God are usually the most common.

Many of them share something else in common.

The signs out front.

As a Christian I see what they’re trying to do. Reach out to anybody who just manages to pass by. If you see something funny written (or an attempt at humor) then maybe you’ll think they’re a church full of funny people who will make you feel welcome if you walk in through the doors on Sunday morning. Or maybe you’ll scare people into thinking that they need to consider where they’re going to go when they die.

This is advertising. And I have a problem with advertising church. Not because I think it’s a crime against what God wants for us to do. Advertising isn’t inherently a bad thing. I just think it’s so ineffective that it ends up hurting a church more times than not.

But we live in a culture where advertising is so common place it rarely fails to make any clear impact on people who view it.

Some churches have the mindset of “Let’s reach out to the non-Christians and show them the way.”

This is the group of people that will put up a sign that says, “Live this day as if it were your last.” or “The end is nigh.” (I’ve never seen that last one, but you get my point). This group believes that they will only reach out to people if they point out that they are sinners and should be inside this church getting saved. (Ironically enough there is nobody inside the church at the time you pass this place by because it’s not Sunday or Wednesday, so good luck getting help with that)

The people who put up this sign probably think they are making an impact in the world. They’re not. I think they have the same mindset as the soapbox preacher.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that churches that advertise like this are only reaching out in this way because they didn’t have a congregation member brave enough to stand on the street corner.

It all boils down to the idea of preaching hell fire and brimstone, of which I’m a staunch opponent.

I always thought that the bible tells us to share the gospel to those who don’t believe. The “good news”. Nobody wants to here that they’re going to die and then be tormented for eternity. And they especially don’t want to hear anything about this if they don’t believe it to be true anyway.

What’s the solution? Well I’ll tell you.

Try actually talking to people.

Getting to know them.

Advertising on a sign isn’t the way to spread the Word of God. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get.

Do good things church. Just go out there and do good things. Lots of them. Not enough to stretch out everybody’s ability to do them. Do enough to make an impact.

Signs on churches should read: “Free dinner every weeknight from 5 – 7 p.m.” or “Food bank open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Everyday.” and maybe “Need somebody to talk to? Somebody is here from 1 – 3 p.m. every day.”

Somebody may actually read that and put themselves in hands and care of a church. Then the church can do exactly what it was ordained to do. Help those in need. Reach out and care.

Like I mentioned above, I have a problem with people advertising church. I don’t have a problem with people advertising what a church can do to help you out. It’s advertising a real service the church is providing for the community around it. Something anybody could be interested in, even if they don’t believe. Even if they’ve already been burned by a church before.

Now all we have to do is make sure churches are healthy enough on the inside so they can be capable of doing these things to edify the Church….

I’m done ranting,

D.A.

P.S. – I probably misspelled “churches” every time I tried spelling it. Today I learned that I have a problem of putting “r’s” before “u’s”.

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Thrifty Thursday

March 1, 2012

So, yesterday I ended up filming a very out of left field thing for a churchy…thingy…

Did any of my wonderful ideas of sock puppets and fine lady mustaches make their way onto film?

No… No they did not. But it wasn’t for lack of  trying. I pitched those ideas so hard it made me look like Billy Mays. I even tried to sell those sock puppets in 11 different ways. Still…nothing.

But I did come up with some really simple idea that involves breaking apples in half with your bare hands.

Will it be funny? I honestly have no idea. But it was a lot of fun acting like an idiot for the better part of 5 hours.

That’s right. I said 5 hours. Let me give you a breakdown on what we did for this thing.

 

3:30 – Arrive at church and try to come up with an idea.

4:30 – Find a hidden costume room in a weird attic above the baptistery. (Sounds like it belongs in a horror movie)

4;45 – Another partner joins group.

5:15 – Kick around more ideas.

5:20 – Come up with very weak idea and pretend it’s the greatest idea ever.

5:30 – Justify crazy idea with church related material.

5:32 – Pitch idea to head pastor. He accepts.

5:40 – Grab camera and find classroom.

6:00 – Go buy 6 apples…

5:44 – 8:28 – Plan/improvise/direct/write/act out in sketch.

8:32 – Remember that I am an adult.

 

For the first 2 hours it really was coming up with an idea. And this whole experience has really made me wonder how writers for talk shows and comedic T.V. shows pull this off all the time. Really. How do you just sit in a room and put funny on paper? That’s a pretty demanding task. Let alone, you have to do it so much and in such a short period of time, it really is a feat.

D.A.

Willy-Nilly Wednesday

February 29, 2012

Things have definitely picked up this week.

So, this post (and possibly the next) will be short because my creative brain power will be siphoned off to be used in other creative contexts. Sorry in advance.

I have been given a special assignment. And a pretty strange one at that. I will be helping a friend do his job. H’e’s a pastor.

This job includes writing a funny sketch for a churchy thingy…

This isn’t the first time I will be collaborating with my buddy on making a silly video/sketch. As a matter of fact we have made a number of them together in the past. All of them were terribly funny to us. And to us alone.

Still, we like doing it so much that we will be working together again despite our strong unpopularity in this particular form of media.

Now in the few years since we’ve done this I think our comedic ideas have grown and matured like a fine wine.

And since I can’t really think of anything original to write about today…you get to hear my ideas I will be pitching tomorrow.

You want a peek inside my brain? 

You’ve been warned.

My first idea involves two sadist sock puppets that delight in tormenting the host of a children’s show with sheer stupidity and a complete infatuation with causing him torment in some regard. They mostly just repeat his name over and over again and end up vomiting confetti everywhere. One of the puppets is even trying blow the host up with dynamite. He actually believes this to be the equivalent of a big hug.

We slowly see the host go insane.

I’m not sure how this will tie is with any lesson/sermon…but we can make it happen.

I still think I could make it fly….even for church. But more than likely this idea will be shot down and I’ll have to think up of something else.

Maybe this will be the time for me to bring out my big idea.

I have had this wonderful idea for a video that I just KNOW would be a major Youtube hit. (And please don’t steal this idea from me. I consider it precious.)

It involves a guy working up the nerve to ask a girl to dance at a party/mixer. His friends are encouraging even though the fella has his serious reservations. As the camera catches glimpses of her, you start to question the boy’s hesitation.

Finally, after the ultimatium from his friends, he walks over, and taps her on the shoulder. She turns around locks eyes with our man, and they both instantly fall in love the moment the music starts.

Oh… She has a gigantic mustache that is revealed in the end. She even mouths the words to the song that is playing in the background.

This is that song.

No lie. I have thought of this video for over 3 years. Maybe today it will come to fruition.

And yes, I do think this will fly at church… I’m pretty sure… Almost certain.

..

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.

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:::sigh:::

Okay…I guess you’re right.

Back to the drawing board.

D.A.

P.S. Really…I’m not kidding…None of the words you read above are a lie. If I really end up making one of these videos you can bet your kiester that I’ll be posting it.