OK, so that’s not the whole story.
We’ve talked here before about churches partnering with local business. Perhaps it was just due to the title of “Your Church, Sponsored by Crest White Strips,” but the idea didn’t go over well. This time we wanted to talk about churches using similar tactics, but with a twist.
Here, the churches are partnering with large corporations, but more so, with popular culture. As I doubt Disney and Apple need the name recognition, and I doubt it was an operation jointly organized by church and corporation, it’s essentially the church partnering with contemporary trend setters.
The Church of the Glades is reporting booming success in their most recent giveaway. For each new attendee, they gave away a $15 iTunes gift card. In order to raise awareness about a Saturday night and early Sunday service, they gave away an iPhone and an iPod nano. Maybe more noteworthy, the story moved from the Palm Beach Post all the way up to Gizmodo. They’re doing all this to promote their “iSeries.” You can find out more about the series or listen to the podcasts at their web site.
Also, Element Church is giving away two trips to Disneyland for their “Life’s Short, Have Fun.” series. With the trips valued at $3,000 dollars a piece, it’s a pretty big giveaway.
I think the most interesting aspect of these stories is the buzz they generate. One Gizmodo commenter had this to say:
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that encourage materialism and bribery instead of unconditional selflessness? Ah…what do I know.”
Saying this is encouraging that might be going a little bit far, but I don’t know that it discourages it.
So what do you think, is it about meeting people where they are, getting butts in pews, and then sharing your message? Or are giveaways like this nothing more than bribery?
Either way, I think we can all agree that if life change is happening, we can’t complain too much. It looks like these couple churches might have just hit a church marketing gold mine.