Gimmicks, Games, and Bikinis

bendavis // @kylereed

About 10 to 12 years ago there was a video game that I would play for Super NES. It had something to do with gimmicks, and games. When you beat a level a man would come on the screen and say “I’d buy that for a dollar!” Then a girl in a bikini would walk across the screen, I think she was holding a sign or something, but I can’t remember. I just remember this game was all about gimmicks, games and chicks in bikinis.

As I watch churches all across America attempt to pull people into their church its all I can think about… we have reduced the Church to gimmicks, games and chicks in bikinis. Well maybe not the bikinis but give it time…

I want to address this issue of Churches trying to draw people  “who otherwise wouldn’t come to church” to church.

I understand the concept of going to all extremes to get people to hear the message of Jesus love. I know that people think it boils down to whether or not other people go to heaven or hell. And I am for reaching the lost, hurting and un-churched. But when it comes to churches spending some extreme cash on bringing people in I think we might want to take a look at what we are doing.

I am a 20 something. I know a number of other 20 something’s. And if there is one thing that we hate, it is the idea of trying to be bought or trying to be sold on something. How the idea of winning a car or a guitar is appealing to us is beyond my belief. In fact I think for people my age it is the exact opposite. I know numerous people who have left their church because they felt like the church was trying to bribe people to come to church.

Jump ahead to someone that is in their 40’s or 50’s. We feed the mid life crisis of “I need more stuff” by giving large gifts to people when they come to church. I mean who doesn’t want to go to a church who gives them the keys to a BMW when they walk out. We feed peoples greed by making them choose between churches and the prizes they will have on Sunday morning. I think I will go to the church who will give me the most stuff. Ah… The American Church.

Large give-a-ways defeat the purpose. Christ represents selfless living and here we are promoting HIS church with selfish living. We are hoping they quit living in sin, while we are helping them sin. People who are going to church to because the church offers stuff are only going because of greed.

Thank God that He is more powerful than our stupid games.

Am I the only one who thinks the Church seems like a video game sometimes?

*Ben Davis


This is a guest post from Ben Davis. If you are like me and want to read more of what he has to say check out Ben’s blog at and tweets @iambendavis
If you are also like me and want to put a face to this post, here is a picture with Ben and his bride and some guy behind them fishing :)

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Christ follower, husband to one wife, pastor and author of
  • bondChristian

    Nice post, Ben. The Bible and worship, the Bible and worship… as a fellowship. That's what it should all be about.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  • Josh

    Great post, Ben. I’m leaving the 20-somethings ranks in October, but I feel like I can speak to this as well. I’m not 30 yet…

    I have to think, that in instances like the ones you mention, that God’s response would be something like, “If you’re going to do that, fine. But leave my name out of it.”

    Come together to bear each other’s burdens. That’s the message of community to me. But, getting others’ burdens is not as appealing as a new iPad. We live for the fleeting. I’m afraid I will have to answer for that one day.

    • Kyle Reed

      You are getting old :)

      • Josh

        If 50 is the new 30, then 30 has to be the new…what…14? Dangit. I hated 14. I sure hope 30 doesn’t mean new awkwardness and zits. :)

        • Kyle Reed

          I guess that makes me about 8 then. Don’t even remember what that was like

  • Kyle Reed

    Shaun King had a great tweet this morning that kind of summed it all up for me:
    “I’m giving up on Haiti. Just 2 hard for me. Plus -why should we be talking about kids dying when we could be talking about iPads? AprilFools”

    Here is the link to the quote here

    • Josh


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  • Jonathan Jacob

    So, I just stumbled upon this blog, and would have to completely agree. I am in my 20’s (actually I’m 20 ;)), and can attest to those feelings. For me, what I look for in church, is authenticity. In a world that is so money hungry, the last thing I would want is my church to feed that mentality. If anything, the church should be helping those out that need it, raising awareness of important issues, and being Christ to the rest of the world…which is what we’re supposed to be doing.

  • bendavis

    Thanks for reading this guys! Glad to see that you guys agree, but is there anyone out there who might what to convince me that we aren’t playing games in the church?

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  • Tyler

    Everytime I hear about this type of thing I always think…

    “huh, I guess the gospel isn’t enough anymore.”

    • bendavis

      I think that the Gospel is not attractive enough to those people who think they don’t need it. If you don’t need it, then you don’t preach it. Dang I think I need to go write a blog post.

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