Megachurch pastor Ed Young is going to be spending Friday the 13th in bed. Oh don’t worry, he’ll still be at the church where he works, in fact he’ll be on top of the church…
with his wife…
for 24 hours straight…
live streaming for the world to see.
It’s all for the release of Young’s latest book, Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse. The core of the book seems to be a sexual challenge to married couples around the world, calling them to have sex with their spouse for seven straight days. Ed and his wife, Lisa, boast that the benefits of this simple challenge will far outlast the week itself.
The premise of the challenge is simple and clear: Have sex with your spouse once a day for seven consecutive days. It may not seem like a lot on its surface, but the implications of having sex for a week, as you discover reading this book, are much more intricate and will produce long-lasting results. For one week of your life, if you decide to take it on and get it on, the Sexperiment is designed to help you realize just how much sexual intimacy can do for your marriage.
As the senior pastor of Fellowship Church in Texas, Young is known for out-of-the-box teaching and creative illustrations. I was once at a large pastor’s conference in Florida where Young was brought in to speak on the subject of creativity and I still have the notes from the session. It’s undeniable the impact Young has had on pastors, especially pastors who are passionate about reaching the next generation. Young’s methods are intentional and thought-provoking, and his recent book is sure to be no different.
Sex in the Church?
I believe it is important for the church to talk about the benefits of a healthy sex life in marriage. The church’s history communicating about sex hasn’t exactly been stellar. Most church members would spend a sex-based sermon blushing and avoiding eye contact with their fellow pew-mates rather than diligently taking notes. So allow me to say kudos to Young and his wife for tackling a subject of importance.
A Little Overboard?
Having said all that, I’m not sure spending all day in bed, with your wife, on the top of your church, online is the best way to market your new book. It reminds me of Quinten Tarantino. Tarantino is a film director who makes what I would describe as a 15-year-old boy’s dream movie; lots of gore, girls, foul language and anything else a hormonal teenage boy might add into a movie. As an adult, and especially as a Christian adult, I watch his movies and think, “Really? That much blood?” What’s the point?
Young’s publicity stunt seems a little unnecessary, and unoriginal. He’s not the first person to put a bed on stage (Ellen and Oprah both did) and he’s certainly not the first pastor to talk about sex (Granger Community Church did some controversial stuff years ago). Granted he might be the first pastor on his roof with his wife, but really… what’s the point?
Why on top of your church?
Why not in your office or on the stage of your main sanctuary?
Why not over coffee? (The Washington Post’s review said, “Young writes like he’s sitting across the table, talking directly to you.” Awkward.)
Why streaming live?
With so many questions like this, it seems unnecessary, similar to the unnecessary excess of a Tarantino movie. What’s the point? It feels like you’re doing it just to do it, and it’s so clearly a gimmick to get me to buy your new book that it turns me off.
After all, Young is the pastor who accused other pastors of “chasing cool,” when they used profanity to appeal to the masses. Lounging in your pjs, with your wife on the top of your church seems like the same sort of craziness.
Young once coauthored a book with Andy Stanley titled, Can We Do That?: Innovative Practices That Will Change the Way You Do Church. I gotta hand it to him on this one, this certainly is a different way of doing church. Technically there’s nothing biblically wrong with his methods—they won’t actually be having sex on the roof. But there’s enough sensuality to make you wonder. Mainstream marketers have known for years that sex sells, so is this just the church playing catch up? There’s no doubt Young’s ‘bed-in’ on top of his church will generate enough buzz to goose his book sales, but in the end is it worth the gimmicks?
All we can ask now is what won’t Ed Young do?
Poll Results: What do you think of Ed Young’s Sexperiment?