Over the last several days I’ve been getting quite a bit of private email about my SEX! post. Most of it has been flaming, some of it has been cool, but there are a few folks out there that thought I was taking shots at Jonathan Herron or Gary Lamb. I think because Jonathan’s church is doing a message series on sexuality and Gary’s church just had a bunch of press over a "controversial" video, the assumption was that I was posting about them. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
I’ve communicated with both of these guys in the past and love them dearly. I would never dream of publicly slighting them , their ministries or their churches. I apologize to both guys…or anyone in their churches…if they think I was taking shots at them. I can assure you, I was not!
The purpose of the post was to point out how absurd it is to preach a sermon series just because it’s controversial enough to get press. It was also to point out that most of the churches that were doing it were just copying Granger in hopes of seeing the same kind of success in their own towns. If there is one thing that chaps my shorts the most, it’s unimaginative, non-creative, copy cat churches just doing what they see successful in other churches because they have no vision of their own. Well, that and heretics. 🙂
There is nothing more desperate looking…or pitiful…than a church trying to be relevant. Either you are or you aren’t. A lump of crap is still a lump of crap…even if you put it in a pretty box. Relevance is not about window dressing, it’s about the substance of the DNA of the church body…and leadership. If you have to try to be relevant…or copy verbatim what others do in order to look relevant…then you really aren’t relevant!!!
The SEX! post was written over several days – neither Gary nor Jonathan were on my mind during the process. The "rapping Santa" video that Gary and Ridgestone put out was strictly to communicate to their own folks in an intentionally cheesy way about an upcoming event. The Ridgestone Church body thought it was crazy enough to tell their friends about it and post it on YouTube. It took on a life of it’s own without specific marketing by Gary or his staff. Now that’s relevant!!!
Jonathan’s church reaches younger 20-somethings. They have a pretty warped view of the differences in the roles of men and women. They are also pretty …um…well…um…sex driven at their age. The message series he is doing is both relevant and needed for his flock. He’s not copying anyone or purposely using a controversial subject to gain press…he’s just spiritually meeting the needs of the Catalyst congregation.
Obviously, there were specific churches and/or pastors I was thinking about when I wrote the SEX! post. Those will remain nameless now and forever. However, I realize that sometimes my writing can be more of a shotgun approach (hitting many targets) when I need to zero in with a rifle shot on occasion. I’ll try to do better with that in the future.
PLEASE NOTE – At no time did Gary or Jonathan contact me about the post. Chances are they never even knew about it since they are pretty busy guys. I just felt I needed to clear the air for the folks that did email in.