Sexperiment Poll Results

January 24, 2012 by
Sexperiment Poll Results

Ed Young recently spent 24 hours in bed with his wife on the roof of his church, all while streaming live on the Internet (well, he didn’t make it the whole 24 hours). We asked your opinion of the great Sexperiment of 2012 and the results weren’t so thrilled.

A full 62% called it a gimmick. Maybe climbing up on the roof was a bit, well, over the top.

Next came the 15% that were thrilled that the church was talking about sex. Another 9% thought it was too much but still gave it a thumbs up, which adds up to a full quarter of people who actually supported the stunt.

Another 11% couldn’t decide.

In the end ‘gimmick’ is probably the nicest word we could give this effort. It might have sold books, but it feels like exploitation. And that’s not something we need in the church or in a conversation about sex.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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14 Responses to “Sexperiment Poll Results”

  • David Reinecke
    January 24, 2012

    Hi Kevin,

    I need help understanding why it feels like “exploitation”?

    Thank you,


    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      January 24, 2012

      Because he’s exploiting his own marriage in order to sell some books. If you want to put your marriage on display in a book that’s one thing, but climbing on the top of the roof? In bed? That feels like exploitation to me.

      But that’s just my opinion. You can see from the comment below that others disagree.

  • Joe Clark
    January 24, 2012

    Who cares… The message was incredible and was so good for our culture to hear. Christians need to get over themselves and stop judging one another. Go tell someone about Jesus and stop pointing fingers.

    • Janice
      January 24, 2012

      Amen Joe Clark.

    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      January 24, 2012

      So it’s OK to use gimmicks to tell people about Jesus?

      This is why we claim that church marketing sucks… because some churches use ridiculous gimmicks or even manipulation to spread the message, and that’s not OK. The ends don’t justify the means. The message we’re sharing deserves more respect than some cheap gimmick or, worse, emotional manipulation.

  • Steve Caronna
    January 24, 2012

    Seriously? Results aside…How is 55 votes a “poll”? If you took a poll and that many people voted, why didn’t you just say you didn’t have enough response to calculate? It’s not that these 55 are not important, it’s just that you don’t have enough to really have a feel for what people think. If we did a poll at our Church and only 55 people were interested enough to respond, I would think the REAL result would be that not many really care one way or the other.

    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      January 24, 2012

      C’mon Steve. It’s a blog poll. Nobody claimed it was scientific. It’s a random sampling of people who visited our blog and chose to vote.

      Besides, I’m pretty sure ‘sexcellent!’ wouldn’t be considered proper form for a scientific poll.

  • Tyler Kelley
    January 24, 2012

    Kevin – If the end result is salvation, then I could care less about the means. Sometimes, you’ve got to wade through mud to reach a person that otherwise would have been lost. Sometimes, you’ve got to get your shoes dirty.

    It might not be my style. It might not fit into my comfort zone. But I’m not the judge. I’m not qualified to weigh in on those matters.

    On another note, I love your blog and I agree that church marketing sucks.

    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      January 24, 2012

      Sorry Tyler, but we have to care about the means. I’m going to the insane extreme here, but if you don’t care about the means, then is it OK to abduct people and brainwash them into accepting Jesus? Is it OK to hold a gun to someone’s head so they’ll listen to your Jesus pitch? Is it OK to be a pimp so you can tell your prostitutes about Jesus? I’m thinking no.

      Obviously that’s all way more extreme than what we’re talking about here, but the means do matter.

    • Will Haddock
      January 31, 2012

      Really, how many gimmicks did Jesus use to bring people into the kingdom. Stopping to die long enough to tell the thief at his side this day you shall be with me in paradise was no gimmick. Crying out Father forgive them for they know not what they do was no gimmick. Being tied to a hitching post and having flesh ripped from his body from a whip was no gimmick. Being slapped, spit upon, having hair ripped from his face was no gimmick. Praying till blood ran from his brow like sweat was no gimmick. Just because you have a large following does not mean anyone is following Jesus. Nor does a small following. I don’t know what Jesus this type of “evangelism” and I use the word very loosely brings anyone to, but it’s not the one in scripture. Has everyone forgot the 80’s when television preachers begin to promote things other than the gospel. Sex is not the gospel and the Bible has very little to say about it comparatively. Our culture is obsessed with feel good anything and sadly Society and Positive Response has come to dictate more in our churches than scripture. We don’t preach for positive feed back, response, applause or shock value. We should be preaching because we are passionate about building Christ’s Kingdom not ours.

  • Tyler Kelley
    January 24, 2012

    Kevin – while those behaviors would be extreme, I wouldn’t place them in the same category. Brainwashing, threatening, and pimping are actions taken outside of Mark 12:31.

    But gimmicks? If gimmicks are what it takes to get through to someone who would have otherwise been lost, then bring on the cheese. Perhaps, this is a practical example of the Parable of the Talents?

    In any event, my view of God is one that insists He would be able to work through even your seemingly extreme examples to touch the hearts of His people. That’s who He is.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      January 25, 2012

      Tyler, I think loving your neighbor means respecting them enough to appeal to them with honesty and authenticity.

      God may be able to work through extreme situations, but that doesn’t mean we should plan on them.

  • Paul Loyless
    January 29, 2012

    Kevin – Thanks for holding to your guns here. You’re absolutely right. Straight up gimmick here. If we are the church we should hold ourselves to a higher standard and do things with excellence. I have no problem with contextualization and meeting people “where they are”. But the Sexperiment is ridiculous. It’s a glaring example of taking the easy rode (i.e. sex sales) rather than the higher road (i.e. writing a great book that is so remarkable that word-of-mouth marketing spreading the word). Thanks for keeping it real.

  • Zach Lorton
    January 31, 2012

    Some people call it a gimmick. Some people call it exploitation. It’s not either. It’s marketing.

    And I think people are missing the point. Just because it was a pastor that was doing it on the roof of his church, people automatically think he’s trying to get people to attend his church. No. He’s selling his book. Through this specific action, he’s not trying to win souls, he’s not trying to present the Gospel of Christ in a new way, and he’s not promoting Fellowship Church. He’s selling his book. Plain and simple. And why shouldn’t he want to promote it in some unorthodox way?

    This stunt was designed to get people talking about why he would do something like this, which would then get them talking about the book. Publicity — it’s what sells books. If people know about it, they’ll buy it; if they don’t know, they likely won’t buy.

    In the end, if this book or this stunt gets more churches comfortable with the idea of talking about sex with their congregants, then great! It’s a topic that really needs to be covered by the church, especially since it’s being covered everywhere else in the wrong context.

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