Attracting young men to church can be a challenge.
Some churches offer bacon rolls, others have gatherings in a pub.
The Lone Oak First Baptist Church in America is offering steak meals and possibly a gun, in what their Facebook page call a “2nd Amendment Celebration”:
According to The Huffington Post
The churches seek to draw in young “unchurched” men who are passionate about hunting and their second amendment rights. The Courier-Journal described the atmosphere at these events as a mix between a political rally and a prayer meeting.
“We have found that the number of unchurched men who will show up will be in direct proportion to the number of guns you give away,” McAlister said to the Courier-Journal. He claims that 1,678 made “professions of faith” at some 50 events last year, most of which took place in Kentucky.
Not all churches approve of this tactic for spreading Jesus’ word. Rev. Joe Phelps, pastor of Louisville’s independent Highland Baptist Church, commented, “How ironic to use guns to lure men in to hear a message about Jesus, who said, ‘Put away the sword.'”
Pastor Nancy Jo Kemper of New Union Church in Versailles called the events a “travesty,” adding, “How terrible it would be if one of those guns given away at a church were to cause the death of an innocent victim.” She said that the giveaway verges on bribery and “makes a mockery of what evangelism, to my way of thinking, ought to be.”
McAlister defends his gun-promoting strategy as simply, “affinity evangelism,” with hunting as a hook to catch Kentucky men. “So we get in there and burp and scratch and talk about the right to bear arms and that stuff,” he said.
I wonder what else churches could give away to attract people? Swords, to attract fans of sword fighting? Unstable nuclear material to attract people curious about bomb making? Helium balloons to fans of people with funny voices?
Is there a line?