"Give Us A Shot"
Sunday, January 13, 2008
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — To get people to attend his new church campus, Robbie McLaughlin is sending his message out to where the people are.
Next Friday, staffers from Next Level Church of Matthews will go to bars in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte to hand out shot glasses which ask patrons to "give us a shot" and bear the slogan, "Real church for real people."
The idea is to draw people to the Ballantyne campus, which opens next month.
McLaughlin is the pastor, and said he is confident that it will be controversial, but he said the goal is not necessarily to impress people who already go to church. He said it's to impress people who don't.
Next Level is a nontraditional church that encourages members to dress casually and snack on coffee and doughnuts during services.
McLaughlin said the idea has caught on, and in two years, the church has grown from a handful of members to more than 700.
This is just down the road from where I live. Their church is growing? Wonderful! I hope those are genuine Christians on the rolls. I wonder if it's the shot glasses that are so effective? Would it be acceptable, for example, to hand out condoms at a brothel or to give weapons to murderers with the with the words "Give us a shot" emblazoned on them? Is a sin less of a sin because of some naturally derived morality rather than that which is revealed clearly in Biblical revelation? Jesus drank with sinners, but I doubt He condoned drunkenness. He forgave prostitutes and welcomed them, but I doubt he offered them tools to assist them in their sin. No, in fact He called them to stop sinning. Perhaps that's what this church does and the article has left that tidbit out. Nevertheless, I doubt the message to stop sinning is overly effective when sinners are given a symbolic wink at their sin.